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Navigant Research Report Finds Blockchain is Expected to Play a Key Role in Edge Computing and Distributed Intelligence

A new report from Navigant Research examines the drivers behind the evolution of distributed systems management in the Energy Cloud, focusing on the role blockchain plays in creating a framework for device-level trust.

As the Energy Cloud transformation progresses and the number of interconnected devices in distributed systems grows, the centralized command and control model must give way to a new model that increasingly relies on automated processes at the grid edge. As automation increases, distributed systems operators must develop a framework for device-level trust to avoid creating new vectors for cyber attacks, fraud, or network manipulation while continuing to provide a high-quality experience to end users. 

"Blockchain augments existing systems management technologies with an authentication layer that enables devices in a network to constantly verify each others' identity, location, state, or status," says Johnathon de Villier, research analyst with Navigant Research. "System operators can further expand their capabilities by combining blockchain with parallel technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity suites."

According to the report, partnerships between utilities and blockchain technology companies are exploring applications for blockchain in this space, from straightforward cybersecurity applications to entirely new models for balancing the grid.

The report, Blockchain Establishes a Secure Foundation for Distributed Systems Management, explores the drivers behind the evolution of distributed systems management in the Energy Cloud and focuses on the role blockchain plays in creating a framework for device-level trust. The report examines the push for performance-based utility evaluation around the world and the strains that rapidly increasing volumes of data are placing on systems operators, emphasizing that blockchain is one piece of a larger strategy to adapt to these changes. It concludes with recommendations for anticipating this evolution in grid management and explores blockchain's role in that context.

An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

Published Thursday, February 21, 2019 7:26 AM by David Marshall
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