Billions in smart grid infrastructure investments nothing without IT

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What use are the billions of dollars being thrown at smart grid infrastructure? Nothing, unless comparable investments next-generation utility information technology (IT) systems that collect, manage and analyze the increasing amounts of data.

Awareness of these systems is growing with a new focus on, and increased investment in, software and IT services for the smart grid, according to Pike Research. The global smart grid software market will be worth $1.3 billion by the end of 2012 and $2.9 billion by 2017 - a CAGR of 15.2percent, according to Pike.

"IT is becoming an important part of the transformation of network operations as utilities exploit new data sources in order to improve network efficiency," said Research Director Eric Woods. "Siloes of operations are being broken down, and new capabilities are emerging based on large-scale information management, real-time data analysis, and the move to closed-loop systems for managing, monitoring, and controlling the smart grid."

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