Enterprise professionals increasingly rely on data analytics to monitor and manage their IT infrastructures and ensure business continuity. Analytics can detect problems in real time anywhere in the network, data center or even on the application level, enabling IT to optimize performance, reduce costs and improve organizational efficiency.
Analytics also is emerging as a key component in the physical infrastructures that support cities around the world, including transportation, water systems, the electrical grid, telecommunications, waste management and more. Indeed, the entire concept of “smart cities” — in which information technology, embedded devices and digital communication are harnessed to improve municipal management, save money and improve constituent services — relies on generating, collecting, communicating and, most importantly, analyzing data.
Over at Breaking Energy, Gordon Heft of infrastructure engineering, design and construction company Black & Veatch writes, “Today, dependable infrastructure is just not enough. While it must be resilient and have an extended life cycle, now it must also be intelligent and communicate with other systems in ways that were unknown only a few years ago.”
That’s a challenge that goes beyond technology to culture, requiring everyone from CEOs down to understand analytics as a core competency.
Analytics-driven utilities have an opportunity to use data to gain transparency across the grid at all levels — from the regional level down through individual neighborhoods, streets and homes. And while they may not yet have “mastered” all aspects of analytics — there still are security issues and, in the case of energy utilities, challenges with integrating renewable sources such as wind and solar power — smart grids and smart cities are inevitable.