Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

2017 IIoT Prediction Series, Part 5: Major Public Utility Company Closes Doors

As 2017 kicks into full gear and a particularly interesting 2016 fades into the rearview mirror, we took a look around the IIoT landscape to see what this year might potentially have in store. Today, we wrap up the 2017 series – let us know what you think!

On Tuesday, we started our predictions by looking at the potential development of Fog Computing at the Edge and its impact on cybersecurity. Wednesday, we predicted that the rise of IIoT applications will outpace consumer IoT apps. Thursday, we wrote about the challenge facing IIoT businesses as the workforce ages and new skills are needed for the ongoing IT/OT Convergence factor. On Friday, we predicted that the growth of smart cities infrastructure would force a connectivity standard for the IIoT industry.

A Public Utility Closure in 2017

The maturation of interoperability standards and evolution of remote data collection technologies are forcing critical infrastructure and utility organizations to adapt at a new pace, in light of aging infrastructure and high percentages of the workforce that are nearing retirement. Existing management continues to struggle to match the IT and operations resources needed to build a comprehensive, integrated portfolio of applications that must work together to support the organization’s goals. 

The prediction

A public utility company will close its doors in 2017 due to challenges surrounding the adoption and implementation of modern IoT technologies. 

There are numerous forces that support the prediction. Here’s our take on the big ones:

Are you Taking Advantage of Fog Computing at the Edge?

According to analysts, utility organizations are becoming more comfortable hosting critical infrastructure data and applications in the Cloud. But, in an effort to further optimize processes and shorten response times, utilities need to explore ways to host applications at the device/sensor level (i.e., the Edge otherwise known as Fog Computing). A decentralized network architecture that brings computing power closer to where data is generated and acted upon enables utilities to analyze, control and automate closer to the “Things” in the Industrial Internet of Things. In electric power, for example, where even milliseconds are vital, certain processes can move away from the Cloud and closer to the Edge. In an industry where cloud computing presents its own sets of challenges, can utilities go one step farther to look at new ways to optimize the “things” at the edge?

IT-OT Convergence Presents Plenty of Challenges

With identifiable business benefits and rapidly developing technologies that are closing the IT/OT divide, there are functional and operational differences between IT and OT groups that exist and complicate integration or convergence. IT and OT groups typically have fundamentally different charters, focus and personnel within their respective organizations. The challenges to IT/OT convergence are not the sensors, hardware, software or technology, but how each group perceives each project or opportunity and in turn, the solutions, which are skewed by their respective domains. In order for IT/OT convergence to be successful, communication is essential and in turn, there needs to be a clear understanding of each group’s roles – something we see utility organizations struggle with mightily, especially as an aging workforce butts heads with the next generation of digital-centric employees.

However, the careful selection of technology for IIoT or industrial applications can help drive the convergence of IT/OT systems. For example, in electric utilities, the rollout of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and Distribution Automation (DA) networks is truly an OT application. The source of the data will fuel IT/OT convergence because it is the data analytics applications such as outage detection, fault management, prepay and others that bring value to the Smart Grid. If utilities can proactively take a systems level view of its infrastructure and integrate legacy systems with modern IT systems, the convergence of IT/OT groups may prove less strenuous.

Cyber-threats to the Utility

Utilities are at the forefront of the Industrial IoT with complex and comprehensive networks for advanced metering infrastructure, energy management, distribution management and substation automation. The estimated growth in IIoT applications for utilities and energy industries will increase to more than 1.5 billion devices by 2020. This explosive growth in networks, smart sensors and devices, and automated systems requires utilities to address, implement and monitor the security of their data networks because these are the networks providing command and control of critical infrastructure that is the Smart Gird.

As technology has evolved, so has the intelligence and sophistication of cyber terrorists and their tactics. If utilities do not build a comprehensive security layer, especially across its internet-connected systems, there is little faith they’d be able to combat against such tactics as Denial of Service and Intrusion – the two top threats according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). If utilities don’t invest in hardened/proven networking and communications equipment, network access control programs, data encryption strategies, advanced monitoring technology and explore various other tactics for limiting exposure to harmful cybersecurity threats, they may be forced out of business anyways.

Today, it is not a matter of “if” a cyber-attack is going to take place, but when. We hope you are ready.

All in All

We hope this prediction is one that doesn’t come to light in 2017, especially with all the direct investments being made in our critical infrastructure projects across the nation. However, a competitive organization is both agile and proactive in meeting market demands – something utilities need to learn from as business continues.

That does it for our list of 2017 IIoT predictions – hope you enjoyed and please be sure to send your questions and comments below!

The post 2017 IIoT Prediction Series, Part 5: Major Public Utility Company Closes Doors appeared first on FreeWave WaveLengths.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Scott Allen

Scott is an executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in product lifecycle management, product marketing, business development, and technology deployment. He offers a unique blend of start-up aggressiveness and established company executive leadership, with expertise in product delivery, demand generation, and global market expansion. As CMO of FreeWave, Scott is responsible for product life cycle/management, GTM execution, demand generation, and brand creation/expansion strategies.

Prior to joining FreeWave, Scott held executive management positions at Fluke Networks (a Danaher Company), Network Associates (McAfee), and several start-ups including Mazu Networks and NEXVU Business Solutions. Scott earned his BA in Computer Information Systems from Weber University.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Peak 10 has announced that it has completed a 20,000 square foot expansion of its Cincinnati-area data center, a 6,000 square foot expansion of its data center campus in Charlotte’s University Research Park, and added a pair of seasoned executives to its leadership team. This further propels the company on its aggressive growth trajectory to meet the rising demand for flexible hybrid IT strategies and solutions across its enterprise customer base. Cincinnati is home to companies like Kroger, Pr...
VeriStor Systems has announced that CRN has named VeriStor to its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments. In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Virtualization over the past years has become a key strategy for IT to acquire multi-tenancy, increase utilization, develop elasticity and improve security. And virtual machines (VMs) are quickly becoming a main vehicle for developing and deploying applications. The introduction of containers seems to be bringing another and perhaps overlapped solution for achieving the same above-mentioned benefits. Are a container and a virtual machine fundamentally the same or different? And how? Is one techn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...