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From a technology standpoint, today’s gas and electric utilities bear little resemblance to those of 10 or 20 years ago. The sector has entered a new age and is making a substantial investment in IT, both internally and for its customer base.
The sector is undergoing a significant modernization, much of it driven by state and federal mandates for smart meters, smart networks, smart grids, and other efficiencies geared toward significantly reducing energy use, especially during times of peak demand. As such, utility companies are increasingly supporting new technology initiatives that enable them to improve service delivery, increase efficiency, and reduce overall power demand.
As such, utilities have some unique attributes that are important to understand when benchmarking IT spending in this sector. In our study, Comparative Analysis of IT Spending by Energy Utilities, we take a special look at IT spending and staffing in the utility sector by comparing key, high-level metrics against a broad sample of organizations. This comparative benchmarking analysis enables us to assess the sector’s specific attributes.
The study has four key findings:
In the full study, we present three measures of IT intensity: IT spending as a percentage of revenue, IT spending per user, and application spending per user. To determine where utility spending differs from the composite sample, we break down IT spending into five functional areas: IT management, applications, data center, network, and end-user support. We also examine IT staff headcount by those same functional areas. We conclude with our assessment of where utility organizations can focus their efforts to improve IT performance.
This Research Byte is a brief overview of our report on this subject, Comparative Analysis of IT Spending by Energy Utilities. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).