Given the recognized potential benefits, how come projects to integrate IT and OT systems are often disparate and lack clarity on the end goal?
Find out how to overcome the major barriers to a successful IT/OT integration program, and find out what we are doing to help utilities define a systems architecture for smart grid and a roadmap for getting there.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises a tomorrow enriched by unprecedented connectivity; an unfathomable number of devices and sensors delivering real-time inputs and data-driven functionality for optimized decision-making and performance. It has the potential to take the smart grid to another level, enabling a new generation of smarter buildings, transport and citizens.
For utilities, it’s a lofty ideal. And for most, it currently still feels a good distance away.
That’s not to say that the potential benefits that IoT promises cannot be realized by utilities, but there is groundwork to be laid. Read our integration fundamentals for getting to an IoT nirvana.
Balancing integration benefits with integration risks
Improved integration between utilities’ energy operations and IT can help them to discover and exploit data intelligence and better meet the new challenges of a complex energy grid. However, security concerns hold utilities back. The imperative to keep the lights on can make
them hesitant to push forward with integration initiatives and expose grid operations to IT. While this cautious approach is understandable, the disruptive challenges of the new energy system demand action. Energy executives need to find a happy medium, balancing benefits with potential risks.
Integration = transformation: No turning back from IT/OT convergence
IT/OT integration is about making the data in network control (OT) and enterprise (IT) systems available to each other to optimize performance and fine-tune control of an increasingly complex grid.
Integrating the siloed domains of information and operations technology is challenging, but TSOs and DSOs know the effort is foundational to operating the energy business of tomorrow. By bridging the gap between IT and OT, utilities are better positioned to gain an integrated view of their systems and data. This in turn can support advanced analysis and decision making, helping them realize a good deal of the promised benefits of the smart grid.
OMNETRIC went live in 2014 precisely to help organizations weave together the worlds of IT and OT. You could say that integration is in our DNA.
OMNETRIC has been named as a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Service Providers for Digital Grid Enablement 2019, EMEA
"OMNETRIC was launched with the mission of solving utilities’ strategic task of integrating information and operational technologies, and, hence, enable the industry’s transformation. Since its creation, the company has enjoyed tremendous traction and now serves customers, including top-tier names in the industry, across five continents."
Case studies - helping customers meet their challenges
North Western European TSO
This TSO aims to have the ability to communicate with external systems, such as the European Power Exchange for power trading, weather forecasts, market partners, and asset and network data.
Greater integration with external information sources facilitates new, sophisticated approaches to business process management and the ability to adapt flexibly to changing environmental and market conditions.
The UK Government's vision is to have smart energy meters in every home. The DCC was established with the mandate to provide communication services between smart meters and the business systems of energy suppliers, network operators and other authorized service users.
In line with a DCC-imposed timeline, UK DNOs need a smart meter solution to collect, protect and use the data from smart metering devices.
German utility and service provider
In addition to its own customers, a German utility provides approximately 100 utilities with an IT backend solution for billing, CRM, contract management, device management, etc.
The introduction of smart metering in Germany compels this provider to extend its offering with a full smart energy solution, out of the box, that is integrated with its existing services.
Middle Eastern TSO
This TSO has ambitious targets to modernize the grid, and extend its capacity.
One of its goals is to increase efficiency of grid operation in the control room and shorten response times using a geographic information system (GIS) as the master source for the definition of the distribution network.
Let's Get Real: Approaches to IT/OT integration for utilities