Moving on Up: Cloud-based technology for Utilities
One of the first utilities in the world was founded in Baltimore in 1816. Established to light the streets of the city, it took the organization over seventy years to achieve this result.
You’d think with the advances in technology—especially with the transition to cloud-based solutions, that much has changed—and it has. Yet today there are many utilities that still use some of the systems and processes first established in Baltimore over two hundred years ago.
In fact, today it’s not uncommon to see employees marking up paper maps, writing hardcopy reports, and manually submitting time sheets for administrative staff to enter into the system. These workflows are inefficient and costly, with the potential to compromise worker safety.
At Clevest, most of the projects we implement with our customers involve modernizing these legacy workflows.
Impediments to infrastructure improvements
Integrating modern software solutions with 20th century technology isn’t easy. Legacy infrastructure and budgetary considerations can make the adoption of new technologies difficult and costly.
Many Clevest customers do not have the resources or the manpower to build the necessary capacity on premises. In these scenarios, moving operations to the cloud is the best (and often only) option.
This may sound like a massive commitment, but today cloud-based platforms and services offer a range of options that support iterative, phased approaches through to comprehensive operational overhauls.
So why are utilities moving to the cloud?
There are two primary drivers for shifting to cloud-based platforms: safety and innovation.
Many Clevest customer engagements are driven by a desire to improve worker safety. Our cloud-based technology produces real-time data that helps employees proactively identify and prepare for situations in the field. It can track the location of workers in case of an emergency, and today, in our COVID-19 world, it can be used to perform health checks and ensure a safe work environment for everyone.
Innovation is another key driver in moving to the cloud. A good example is smart meters, technology that has reinvented how utilities collect and analyze usage data. The efficiencies are so compelling that many Clevest customers have willingly moved all or part of their operation to the cloud to support the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and meter data management system (MDMS) requirements.
A cloud-based operation can also provide meaningful advantages across the business:
Today our customers rely on the cloud to support advanced applications including websites, customer portals, workforce management systems, supply chain systems, and administrative functions (HR, payroll, procurement). The real-time data generated in the cloud is used for predictive analytics, dashboards, and reporting.
Moving to the cloud doesn’t have to be painful or expensive. Each of our customer deployments is unique, with variables that include different types of infrastructure, services, architecture, and licensing models.
But no matter how you get there, once you’re on the cloud, your operation will be able to easily tap into an ever-growing list of cloud applications that drive operational efficiencies and cost savings across the entire organization.