It has been known for a long time that information technology is a driving force that significantly influences the changing reality. According to specialists, in recent years no technology has implemented more innovations in business than cloud solutions. Universal access to the Internet, the growing diversity of business environments, employees and work models, as well as constant market pressure to do more, faster and cheaper, have put us on the eve of another technological revolution. It can be said that the cloud expansion has started. Will the energy sector take up the challenge?
Cloud technologies in the energy industry
Research confirms that the energy industry is at an early stage of introducing and using solutions based on cloud technologies. At the moment, the Polish energy sector is cautiously switching to cloud services. The slow and conservative course of implementing new technologies is primarily related to the fact that the sector is regulated. Regulatory issues limit and in some way inhibit the implementation of new, innovative solutions. Remember about the so-called data residency, taking into account legal provisions in the GDPR, which may be the main brake for cloud solutions.
Characteristics of the public cloud
Undoubtedly, a significant challenge is the reconstruction or migration of systems so that they operate in the public cloud. Some areas critical to energy security may be much more difficult to convert to cloud services and will not be susceptible to changes so quickly, especially in the area of the power grid and OT systems. At the same time, there is a myth among decision-makers that the data placed and processed in the cloud will not be as secure as kept on their servers in the on-premise environment. Paradoxically, in many ways, the public cloud is safer and you can be sure that the cloud system uses the latest software versions, with all patches to protect against malware and under the 24/7 assistance of highly qualified IT security teams. Besides, the public cloud has fewer incidents than local data centres. It has adequate human resources and has appropriate security procedures to ensure a high level of protection. Another issue is the lack of knowledge and clear preferences as to the form of using the SaaS (Software as a service) model, as well as IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) or PaaS (Platform as a service) cloud services. Many IT professionals in the energy industry do not have a clear picture of the state of the IT infrastructure they manage and specific guidelines from their business. The implementation of cloud solutions in practice often involves the modification of existing or building new business processes. Additionally, there is the issue of changing people’s mentality and habits, and this sometimes turns out to be the most difficult task to accomplish.
The use of cloud technology in Polish realities
There is a high probability that over time we will face the autonomization of the entire IT environment and the transfer of its management layer to the public cloud. In Poland, the Google data centre will soon be established, which in cooperation with the National Cloud Operator will provide cloud services. The PKO BP bank plays an important role in these changes. The investment will certainly be of great importance for the dissemination of cloud solutions and can be a good alternative to the current challenges of the energy sector in Poland. The use of the cloud will allow you to achieve tangible effects, which have been mentioned many times in industry articles and blogs. Certainly, the current situation related to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has caused an increased state of uncertainty in business, has shown that cloud computing is something that helps to get through this specific and difficult period. With the help of cloud resources, we can react faster to the changing market, and we are also able to more flexibly prepare our work environment and people for distributed and remote work.
How to effectively use cloud technologies in the development of your business?
It is best to use the services of external companies that specialize in digital transformation and effectively support enterprises in implementing and transferring their business to the cloud. Savangard (www.savangard.com) comes to the rescue, with extensive experience in strategic IT digital transformation (in particular in the field of IT systems integration), along with a team of experts who have been developing software dedicated to the energy industry for years. The combination of knowledge of the latest technological trends used in the IT industry with extensive knowledge of the specifics of the operation of energy market software allows for quick and professional implementation of cloud technology.