Utility leaders are struggling with a world that's quickly changing and barely recognizable from the one they knew growing up. Many of the old assumptions are gone, and the business model upon which careers have been built is on the verge of disappearing. So what does the internet of things (IoT) have to do with any of this? A lot.
Over the last 25 years, I've been intimately involved in many of the events that have lead our industry to this point -- and having the graying temples to prove it, I feel qualified to make a few observations as to why IoT matters.
First of all, let's agree on a simple IoT definition: the internet of things is the networking of physical devices (typically referred to as "connected devices" or "smart devices") that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.
Sounds a lot like the smart grid, doesn't it? In fact, being the utility guy in a large analytics software company that serves many industries, this is one time where I can raise my hand and say, "We have one of those!"
Utilities of all sizes have made the leap into the smart grid era. All entered with a set of expectations which, for the most part, have been met or even exceeded. But these intelligent infrastructure investments might also be a wild card in the challenging business climate that lies ahead.