The global energy and utilities sector is expected to undergo several changes in 2013, due in large part to a number of technological trends, including cloud computing, big data and mobile solutions. A recent Gartner report highlighted the 10 trends that will directly influence the market this year.
Kristian Steenstrup, Gartner vice president and fellow, said successful businesses in this landscape must address a number of challenges, including environmental factors, consumer expectations and changes in policies.
“This is in addition to protecting the security of critical generation and delivery infrastructure, as well as maintaining system reliability with aging physical assets,” Steenstrup said. “Public and private utilities are looking at how technology can reduce cost, drive efficiencies and enhance competitive advantage.”
Gartner explained that the utility provider industry has been slower than other fields to adopt cloud computing, due in large part to security concerns. Early adopters of the cloud implemented the technology to expand their resources without going over budget and with minimum disruptions of production suites.
Organizations in many industries have come to realize the importance of effective data management, especially as big data has grown in significance recently. Gartner said that smart grid projects will produce a variety of information that will be a mixture of structured and unstructured, requiring special attention.
The research firm said that more energy and utilities businesses will embrace mobile and wireless technologies moving forward to lower spending while simultaneously improving the productivity and accuracy of the workforce. Gadgets like laptops, smartphones and other products will be popular throughout the field.
Cloud, big data, mobility all fueling IT spending
A report by market research firm IDC indicated that mobile solutions, big data, cloud computing and analytics will all play key roles in the enterprise IT spending landscape, which is projected to total $474 billion in 2013, growing 6 percent from 2012.
Ted Dangson, IDC vice president of global technology and industry research, said some enterprises have moved cautiously with their IT spending, due to economic concerns.
“Yet we’ve seen continued investments by companies as they prioritize the replacement of outdated technology, and pursue strategic IT initiatives focused on big data and analytics, cloud computing and mobility,” Dangson said.
The IT industry will likely continue its upward trend thanks to innovative solutions like cloud computing, big data and mobility. Firms that can use these technologies to their advantage can operate more efficiently and make more sound decisions.