For utilities large and small, partnering with a managed services provider – especially for management of your smart utility network – delivers significant benefits. However, some utilities aren’t comfortable letting someone else run a part of their business. Here are five common beliefs that are more fiction than truth.
Myth 1: “We will lose control.”
The right managed services provider doesn’t bully in and take over. Instead, the provider becomes an extension of your team to enhance your operations, capabilities and confidence. You continue to dictate activity, and you’ll have transparent and efficient change management. Alerts and notifications are uniquely designed for each customer, meaning core monitoring tools, full visibility and advanced applications will align with your requests. With managed services, you always stay in the driver’s seat.
Myth 2: “There will be significant job loss.”
In lieu of job displacement, a managed services play often allows a company to shift employee roles, even creating career development opportunities. Employees can be trained to perform other roles more directly related to the company’s mission and revenue growth. For example, field techs can change function to become SCADA operators. Some positions may be lost with a managed services partnership, but employee advancement potential is undeniable.
Myth 3: “The security risks are too big.”
You cannot underestimate today’s cybersecurity threats, and utility providers are moving to the top of global hackers’ target lists. So being proactive—not just reactive—is imperative to ensuring safe operations and confident customers. Managed services providers help maximize protection and minimize vulnerabilities by contributing top security experts who are monitoring security 24×7. Moreover, your organization doesn’t have to worry about in-house IT security staff maintaining expensive certifications, upholding compliance regulations or scheduling regular internal and external testing. You can just rest assured it’s being done.
Myth 4: “There’s no real cost savings.”
New utility infrastructure can be expensive. But what if you had access to state-of-the-art infrastructure at a fraction of the cost? With a managed services provider, there are economies of scale, so you benefit from the “latest and greatest” no matter the size of your utility. And when your managed services partner is responsible for equipment maintenance and repair, significant downtime—and its associated financial and customer costs—becomes a thing of the past.
Myth 5: “We can do the same thing in-house.”
Sure, you could manage your smart utility network in-house. But the price is high. Even a simple checklist of must-haves can elevate the cha-ching factor beyond your reach. You’ll need system architecture, dedicated staff, regular testing, updates and upgrades. And that’s not all. Standard maintenance requires that you set aside extra time and money for accreditation, training, software and hardware upgrades, and compliance. Or, you can simply partner with a managed services provider to keep your network running—so you can focus on running your business.
About the Author
Michele Reister is the former Marketing Communications Manager for Sensus software, services, security and communication networks. Michele holds a B.S. in Management and Information Technology from Daniel Webster College and a M.B.A. from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.More Articles by Michele