Cost Benefit Analysis of Pursuing a Phased Approached to an Evolving Smart Grid
The proposed paper is based on a business case leveraged by a public utility deciding on whether to invest in operational informational systems. It will walk through the qualitative and quantitative benefits of pursuing a “phased approach” to an evolving Smart Grid and developing a Strategic Smart Grid Architecture based upon SOA.
Most utilities have been developing software projects where applications and business needs have been met through highly customized or individual project solutions approach, resulting in “organic growth” of systems. Multiple applications have been integrated in a point-to-point manner. This has resulted in an architecture that can still support small projects and upgrades but has several limitations when it comes to supporting future services such as Smart Grid applications, as they require unprecedented levels of integration and interoperability. The future business transformation needs of the organization in the areas of Smart Grid cannot be met through such direct approaches, as they are unlikely to meet the capacity, efficiency, responsiveness and reliability requirements.
The paper will analyze the benefits of a preemptive investment in a more contemporary architecture that provides the foundation for developing services that span the gamut from delivering improved grid operations to sustaining and elevating customer satisfaction.