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Global survey reveals key themes in information system space

CIGRE Study Committee SCD2 recently conducted a global survey to define the current strategic priorities for the group.

This study committee looks at information systems including EMS, DMS, GMS, SCADA, Smart Grid and electricity supply systems of the future applications, as well as business systems such as MMS and business applications.

The survey was undertaken globally with responses from 18 countries including an excellent response from Australia.

 scd2 global survey fig 1

Figure 1 – Country origin of survey responses

The results highlighted a number of key information system themes emerging in Electric Power Utilities (EPU’s) across the globe. The figure below ranks the issues in order of importance and groups these issues into common themes. The top four themes were as follows:

Theme 1 – Cyber security for evolving EPU business and operational practices & risks

EPU's are moving in new operational directions as a result of changing business practises and the opportunities and pressures presented by evolving mobility technologies. Additionally there is general growth of the cyber threat landscape. This theme, the highest ranked, encompasses three streams:

1. Secure remote control of critical infrastructure
2. Secure use of mobility technologies for operational and business purposes

Many EPU’s are considering what actions to take. Is it possible for EPU’s to securely go down these paths and, if so, what would be the appropriate reference models and other controls that would lead to solutions with acceptable risk?

3. Cyber security incident response by EPU’s

What tools must EPUs be equipped with to deal with a major cyber-initiated event? What tools exist or could be developed to make it easier for EPU’s to recognise and respond to increasingly complex cyber security threats and to manage their incident response?

Theme 2: Emerging smart grid applications and issues

This theme ranked very closely behind theme 1 and drew out several suggestions for possible smart grid applications and issues to cover.

There is a related subtopic relating to the need to deal with privacy issues in relation to the Smart Grid.

Theme 3: Situational aware analysis and presentation of EPU operational and trading data.

This topic brought together four of the data themes impacting EPU’s.

EPU’s are being bombarded by a massive growth of data, which is different from conventional IT data in that much of it needs to be analysed in real time to enable effective operational or trading decisions to be made.

Theme 4: Managing EPU information systems complexity and costs

This included the EPU use of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and CIM (Common Information Model).

 SCD2 fig 3

Figure 2 – Thematic grouping of survey results


The findings of this survey are informing the strategic direction in the Information Systems arena for CIGRE Study Committee SCD2. CIGRE is working hard to define and focus on the key issues facing the industry globally.

SCD2 is planning to establish working groups in a number of the above areas and would welcome involvement from anyone interested in contributing. Likewise APD2 will be looking for technical experts to contribute to these working groups so that an Australian/New Zealand perspective is incorporated in the outputs of any SCD2 working group. Should you have an interest to contribute to this strategic work, please contact Robert Evans to discuss further. (

For more on the strategic priorities for information systems issues see the link below

Working Group Wg D2.01 Report