The outsourcing by utilities of smart metering operations, known as managed services, or Smart Metering-as-a-Service ("SMaaS"), will see annual revenue grow from $199 million in 2018 to $1.03 billion by 2027, according to a new study conducted by Northeast Group.
The study states that the smart metering industry is evolving to more of a subscription-based business model, a trend seen in many other industries. This trend has significant benefits for utilities, customers and vendors alike.
"The gradual shift to service-based smart meter operations is now accelerating," said Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group.
"Utilities are seeing the benefits of turning to the managed services model, especially as regulatory barriers are overcome and advantages surrounding cost, security and time to market are proven."
Vendors are meeting the growing demand with new and innovative service-based solutions. These range from basic Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings to sophisticated Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions, where third parties own and lease metering hardware.
Countries with fragmented electricity markets and smaller utilities,including the US, Germany, South Africa, Austria, New Zealand, and Norway, are among the most likely growth markets for managed services.
Utilities with a preference for turnkey solutions, such as those in the MENA region or emerging market utilities with limited smart metering knowhow, will also drive the global SMaaS market.
Data security is both a barrier and a driver to increasing adoption of these solutions. Some utilities are still reluctant to hand over control to a third party whereas others see the clear benefit that the likes of Microsoft and Amazon can provide regarding data security.
Furthermore, many regulatory structures need revision so that the accounting treatment of service-based solutions is equitable.
Click here fore more information on Northeast Group's Managed Services: Smart Metering-as-a-Service (2018-2027) study.