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Haven’t you always wanted to pick a regulator’s brain?

In the utility biz, the regulator role can be a contentious one. Sometimes it feels as though they are your greatest champions; sometimes it feels like they are part of a larger looming issue you’re still desperately trying to get a good handle on. In the end, though, there are ways to get the regulator on your side, especially when it comes to this cloud evolution the industry is immersed in.

The first step is always the hardest: Knowing what a regulator is thinking about a project, a proposal, a strategy or a concept. Well, we’ve got that first step covered for you with our latest study in partnership with Zpryme Clearing a Path to the Cloud: U.S. Regulator Perspectives on Cloud Technologies.

Released today during DistribuTECH, one of the largest industry shows specializing in the movement of electric power from transmission to distribution to the consumer, this new paper gives you just what you always desired—to know exactly what regulators are pondering.

This year’s study builds on a similar collaborative project Zpryme and Oracle Utilities released last February that focused on the views of utility executives when it comes to the cloud. That survey of 100 U.S. utility executives revealed that most utilities were either working in the cloud today or had plans to do so in the near future, either in-house or delivered as a service.

Now, whether a utility is building their cloud future internally or looking for an external supplier, all will have to invest money to reach those goals. And how utility money is received, parceled and used is overseen by those industry insiders we’ve already touched upon—the regulators.

So, this year, to build on those findings from the previous study, we went directly to the partner you need to get those cloud strategies moving forward. We had a chat with your regulators. In fact, we surveyed 76 U.S. regulatory staff and commissioners, and we asked them lots and lots of questions about the cloud.

And they confirmed one thing we already knew: The cloud is going to be huge for utilities, a “paradigm shift,” even. The cloud is going to invade every aspect of your utility business—and even the regulators know it. In fact, the study shows that 83 percent of U.S. utility regulators surveyed believe the cloud to be an important technology trend and 67 percent agree that the cloud will be critical to utilities’ future success.

“The findings from last year’s utilities study and this year’s regulator study point to a significant paradigm shift, as both parties recognize the value of cloud technologies and the importance they will play in utilities’ processes and operations,” said Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Utilities, when the study was released today.

Other top findings from the study include:

  • 33% of regulators surveyed have a cloud strategy
  • 69% of regulators surveyed have (or plan to have) a cloud team
  • 50% of regulators surveyed list meter data management as a top area for utility cloud deployment
  • Nearly 80% of regulators surveyed feel they should have a say in the utility use of cloud

We invite you to read the full study for yourself. Just click here. (And let us know your thoughts on the study on Twitter @Opower or @OracleUtilities with the hashtags #cloudstudy2017 and/or #pickaregulatorsbrain.)

 

Read more of our DistribuTECH coverage here:

Opower Author
Kathleen Wolf Davis /

In the shortest terms: I'm the writer here at Oracle Opower. Been penning pieces about the energy biz for almost 20 years with stints at Electric Light & Power magazine, POWERGRID International magazine and Intelligent Utility magazine.

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