Smart Grid Index reveals a changing trend

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The results of the Zpryme/FierceSmartGrid January Smart Grid Index (SGI) show an interesting trend not yet seen in our research until now.

The data shows a consistent trend in vendor activity in terms of closing deals, but this is the first month that vendors' outlook has been less optimistic than utilities. Macroeconomic conditions are likely causing some concern among vendors.

Utility sentiment has increased, however, with forty-one percent of respondents indicating that North America represents the best opportunity for utility-related information and communication technologies.

In terms of hiring trends, smart grid recruitment activity remains concentrated around three key areas -- sales and business development, consulting, and highly specialized engineering and computer science roles -- with the majority of hires occurring among smart grid technology vendors.

"We are starting to see inklings of activity within the utility segment, primarily for high-level marketing and/or business strategy roles," said Heather Anusbigian, chief operations officer and chief marketing officer at smartgridcareers.com. "We anticipate that recruitment efforts will gain significant momentum for forerunners of deployment in this sector by the fourth quarter of 2013."

We conclude from this month's research that, despite an increase in negative sentiments among vendors, the overall industry outlook remains strong. – Barb