Utility Company Technology | Public Utility IT Management
Technological advances in Utility companies
In order to improve their operational efficiency and reduce costs, public utilities are recognizing the need to transition their current communications infrastructures to more advanced and flexible alternatives. While some have already started adding digital communications and monitoring systems to their production, transportation and distribution systems, there remains a critical need to optimize the limited bandwidth they have at their disposal to support their wireless networks and mobile communication applications. The Utility industry is by far an industry in transition. Of course, transition means change and change is often looked upon as a rather smooth evolution of the current state of things. We feel the Utility industry transition way more substantial than most industry players are willing to accept. Consequently, strategic moves need to be more fundamental than simply changing the business and operating model of today.
Utility industry, industry in transition…
Our energy system is and has always been a system of change and transition. The transitional years of this industry date back to the years following the first International Exposition of Electricity in 1881. In the following years, the industry saw great advances in technology and commercial competition, such as Westinghouse and Tesla’s AC technology versus Edison promoting DC technology. Nicholas Carr discusses in his book “The Big Switch” how Edison convinced legislators in New York to use Westinghouse’s AC system for the first electrification of a death-row prisoner in New York in 1890 to sway public opinion toward DC distribution technology. In the early years of electrification, the electricity system did change — from building onsite generation to leasing energy-consuming household goods to selling electric power by the kWh.