Technology innovation is occurring at an exponential rate and new technologies promise huge benefits for utilities’ business operations. This morning, Roberto Aiello, an Itron technology advisor, walked us through the latest technologies and upcoming developments for the industry.

Roberto noted that with high rates of smart phone adoption, customers are more connected and are demanding increased mobile technology. Utilities have an opportunity to not only engage with consumers through mobile apps to report outages, manage energy use and utility billing, they can also realize financial benefits with higher customer satisfaction and management of operations. Itron Insights and the Itron City App are both examples of mobile technology that utilities can employ to achieve these benefits.

The second trend Roberto discussed was the Internet of Things (IoT). As the IoT continues to grow, having open standards to help ensure device interoperability while reducing technology risk for utilities is essential, but with 8 billion connected devices currently in service, IoT has the opportunity to drive a great value for utilities. IoT allows utilities to put multiple devices, such as distribution automation, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and solar panels on the same network and put multiple applications in that network such as meter to cash and power distribution management. More importantly, IoT also allows utilities to collect data such as load profile and SCADA for analysis. We’re looking forward to speaking with Roberto at Itron Utility Week 2015 to see how these and other technology trends evolve over the next year.

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