Why the Internet of Energy Requires Service Assurance


Keeping the lights on might sound straightforward, but for energy providers, limiting outages and ensuring a high-quality customer experience is now intertwined with the cloud; software-defined data centers; blockchain and industrial Internet of Things (IoT).  As these technologies and accelerators of Digital Transformation (DX) fundamentally reshapes the energy sector, the need for rock-solid service performance increases significantly. Simply put, service assurance is required for the “internet of energy.” Here’s why:

The “internet of energy” supports the services we take for granted on a daily basis. Think about it next time you pump gas, use mobile banking, stream a video, travel, or go shopping at the mall or from your computer.  The energy value chain is comprised of both physical and digital assets with electricity production, storage, and consumption being reshaped by data analytics, IoT and blockchain. According to Digital Journal, the biggest gains are with the way power plants operate, in terms of cost savings, and the way assets are managed.  Real-time analytics and a range of connected devices are helping energy providers redefine the way power plants and assets are monitored, managed, and serviced, by pinpointing areas ripe for improving efficiency and adding value. Reuters says as the market liberalizes and renewable energy grows, blockchain offers a way to better handle the increasingly complex and decentralized transactions between users, large and small-scale producers, retailers, and even traders and utilities.

Clean energy is becoming intertwined with the digital economy.  As cloud computing companies become some of the largest consumers of electricity, they are shifting to alternative sources of energy like solar and wind to power their servers. Apple and Google have reached 100% renewable energy across all its data centers while others like Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook have committed to powering their cloud platforms with clean energy.   

All these changes offer enormous promise, but only if the energy industry can back up its vision with service performance. After all, a smart grid or smart meter is only as smart as the service assurance solution supporting it. Pervasive visibility throughout the IT environment can provide energy companies with the actionable intelligence necessary to proactively triage performance issues and assure service delivery. This means going beyond “data in your face” to pinpoint the root cause of performance problems. Rather, avoiding blind-spots in highly complex hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments requires Smart Data that is well-structured, contextual, and available in real time to get insights into application and infrastructure performance.

As the energy sector transforms, service assurance must be part of a winning strategy that manages costs, meets compliance requirements, and delivers a flawless customer experience.  Learn more about NETSCOUT’s utility industry solutions, and find out how to accelerate Digital Transformation and why Smart Data makes supplying and consuming energy smarter.

~ Ron Lifton, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, NETSCOUT