Utility Week

Utility Week 8 July issue

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Page 21 of 31

22 | 8TH - 14TH JULY 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Sponsored report: Cloud adoption Insight C loud technology is disruptive. Out go vast 'on-premise' data centres, in come applications served from the cloud – oen under innovative pay-as-you-go 'so- ware as service' licences. Put another way, out go the large chunks of capital expenditure associated with physi- cal data centres, together with soware licences, both in utility-sized volumes. In their place: month-by-month rental costs, paid for out of operating expense. Nor is cloud technology delivering just any old applications. Increasingly, soware vendors are adopting 'cloud first' or even 'cloud only' deployment models. However, utility companies are not all embracing the cloud in the same way, or even for the same reasons, and to the same extent. Look closely, and there are significant differences in the ways the companies per- ceive, approach and adopt cloud technology. Why is this? Research carried out in March and April 2016 by Utility Week and Tata Consultancy Services sought to find out by probing utilities' take-up of cloud technol- ogy, and their perceptions of the challenges and opportunities that it provides. One obvious conclusion is that there is an opportunity for the utility sector to benefit from gaining a better understanding of best practice in managing cloud technology's complexity and challenges. Simply put, the utility sector needs help first of all to understand how best to approach and plan the migration to cloud technology. Then it must undertake the implementation and ongoing management of cloud platforms. As the joint Utility Week and TCS report, Cloud adoption and UK utilities, highlights, there is little doubt among utility companies about the potential value that cloud technol- ogy could deliver to their businesses. The challenge lies in overcoming some of the bar- riers that stand in the way of achieving that value. The prize on offer is a significant one. And given the importance of utilities to the economy, the environment and society at large, it is a prize that utilities and their trusted advisers should endeavour to attain. From a corporate perspective, few IT developments have been as transforma- tive as cloud computing. Indeed, it's prob- ably necessary to go back to the adoption of client-server technology in the early 1990s to find technology quite so disruptive to the status quo. And the parallel is apt, because just as a handful of industries – among them finan- Heads in the cloud? Utility Week in partnership with Tata Consultancy Services has carried out research among senior utility staff about the adoption of cloud computing technology. We just couldn't move our electricity network control systems into the cloud at this stage. They are our lifeblood for our business and our customers. Paul Geddes, head of IT and telecoms, Electricity North West Utilities have approached the first round of cloud in moderation, and this gives them an opportunity to leverage the learnings from other industries. Rishabh Arora, director, GTM solutions, TCS Utilities Business Unit When cloud providers have outages they tend to be big and they would have a significant impact on a utility. Ian Ballantyne, infrastructure and telecoms tower manager, UK Power Networks " " " " " "

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