Staying Connected to Organizational Priorities is Vital for Innovation

Alberto Ruocco, CIO, American Electric Power
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Alberto Ruocco, CIO, American Electric Power

Alberto Ruocco, CIO, American Electric Power

Currently, in operation technologies (OT), there is an active and continued proliferation of IP-enabled devices across the electric systems, comprising of ‘Internet of Things’ and the electricity network. We are looking forward to applying these changes into generation as well as distribution processes, so as to cause enhanced safety, reliability and superior services.

In the case of Information Technology (IT), there are several emerging trends. The biggest trend is the continuous evolution and integration of social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies (the SMAC). Although there are several instances of successful SMAC applications, the unexplored potential is quite significant. The opportunities are tremendous if we attempt to leverage these combined technologies to meet with the ultimate goal of delivering information to customers and employees, anywhere and anytime.

“There are only a few vendors with beta level information architectures and applications with compelling returns”

Taking the Organization to a Great Future

The biggest challenge I face in my role is with preparing the organization for the future, by collaborating with our external and internal business partners.

In the attempts to enable the ‘utility of the future’, there are many key areas to focus on. These include, bringing in changes to the energy Alberto Ruocco, CIO, American Electric Power generation and distribution landscape, setting different investment priorities across business units, service territories, proliferation of realtime data, upgrading more and more services for delivery through mobiles and concurrently, facilitating on-going stewardship and evolution of legacy platforms.

Also, considering the prevalence and expectations on Big Data with respect to the utilities sector, there are only a few vendors with beta level information architectures and applications with compelling returns. We continue to explore the big data world, with an aim to bring about rapid changes in consumer behavior, especially in regulated as well as nonregulated markets.

Enabling an Effective Approach towards Innovation

We commence the process of innovation by understanding and staying connected to business priorities. We find time to listen, collaborate and learn from industry peers, vendors, analysts and consultants. Ideas are always encouraged, especially from start-ups and strategies adapted by established vendors are assessed. Innovation emerges when we use all these inputs for longterm collaborations of three to five years, through industry organizations and project implementations of short-term. (As told to Benita M) Alberto Ruocco

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