Poor Adoption of Cloud Computing

Sunil Singhal, SVP of Energy and Utilities, Symphony Teleca, discusses utility transformation to cloud computing models.
Published: Thu 14 Nov 2013

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In this interview, Mr Singhal discusses the poor adoption rate of cloud computing models by the utility sector. He points out that the sector prefers to keep everything in-house. The main reasons for this are skepticism and security.

In comparison to other industries, utilities have always been conservative when it comes to the adoption of new technology. However, this will change within the next three to five years as an increasing number of utilities adopt the technology successfully.

Utilities are keeping a close eye on industries such as Telecommunications which have managed to successfully adopt cloud computing on a large scale. Industries are turning to cloud computing in a “big way” as they can see the benefits of having cloud, Mr Singhal explains. Customers are also demanding this technology so it will be a matter of time before the utility adopts it.

Security is not an issue

But where does this skepticism come from and how do industries, like the Telco’s, incorporate the technology with success?

Mr Singhal explains that utilities are conservative because they are unlike other industries. They have a critical infrastructure and they don’t want anything to compromise its security and that of their customers’ personal data. We asked Mr Singal what it will take for the utility industry to overcome its uncertainty over cloud technology.

“Security is more of a concern than a real issue as far as I’m concerned,” he says. “Security can be managed and there are elements within the technical stack that can be moved or adapted to the cloud model. It will take time for solutions to come on-board.”

Symphony Teleca is an innovation partner that can help the utility (and other industries) during the innovation journey. They aid innovation during the research and development stage and support the development and adoption of cloud mobility and analytics in their solutions.

Mr Singhal says of his Company: “We can introduce these innovative products to the market at a much faster pace. Whilst working with white label solutions or with the utility directly, we bring all the competencies together successfully in order to launch that product in the market.”

Recognizing that there is an increasing skills crunch in the technology industry, the Company employs expertise across the globe.

California leads the way

We asked Mr Singhal who he thinks is the current global leader in smart grid and smart technology development and deployment. Without hesitation, he nominated the State of California and parts of Canada. The main reason for this? He says it has a lot to do with consumer adoption of initiatives. “Customers there are happy to support smart energy initiatives even if they have to spend more on power.”

We ended by asking him what the general mood is in the industry:
“Great excitement as there is so much opportunity in the industry. There is a great journey ahead.”