According to a grid operations survey released yesterday, 35% of utilities polled consider the changing cybersecurity landscape as having the biggest impact on operations, more than double the next concern, and 48% are or will be considering outsourcing Operational Technologies (OT) and support functions.
This is according to the 2018 BRIDGE Index Utility Industry Grid Operations Survey, from BRIDGE Energy Group.
“The vast majority of utility personnel polled expect the changing threat landscape and availability of knowledgeable resources to have the biggest impact on IT/OT Integration,” said Sandy Simon, Vice President, BRIDGE Energy Group.
“To address these challenges, utilities should explore outsourced subject matter experts and established cybersecurity and compliance assurance services that will help achieve the flexibility, adaptability and efficiencies needed to optimise T&D operations. In addition, leveraging innovative digital worker solutions, such as augmented reality, can both attract younger talent and solve legacy workforce challenges in new, creative ways.”
The seventh annual BRIDGE Index Utility Industry Grid Operations Survey benchmarks how companies are adjusting transmission and distribution (T&D) operations to optimise performance, mitigate security risks, and partner with third-party vendors.
Consistent with past years’ findings, utility executives cited a lack of resources and conflicting priorities as the greatest challenges facing operations today.
The survey also revealed that delays in achieving operational excellence for advanced distribution systems may be related to organisational alignment issues – 72% of IT and OT are under separate organisations in the same utility and report to different managers.
Additional survey insights address:
- Consideration of outsourcing from OT Operations and Support functions
- Utility implementation of a defined data architecture and governance process
- Responsibilities for new product integration.
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