The paragraphs below will detail the case study questions in chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Unit 1: Understanding MIS
Chapter 1: What’s the buzz on smart grids?
1. How do smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in the United States? a. The current electricity infrastructure in the United States consists of energy companies providing power to consumers without providing any information about how the consumers are using that energy. Operating this way makes it hard to develop more efficient methods of distribution. Another issue with the current infrastructure is the fact that there are only a few ways to handle the power that comes from alternative energy sources. This causes a hindrance when electric companies try and go “green”. Smart grids digitally deliver the electricity from the provider to the consumer which allows for a better circle of communication between the provider and the consumer as appose to communication strictly between the supplier and consumer. Another benefit of the smart grid is the fact that they are sized to meet the maximum amount of electricity needed so a drop on the peak demand would allow utilities to operate with fewer expensive power plants. This lowers costs as well as pollution. (Laudon, 2010) 2. What management, organization, and technology issues should be considered when developing a smart grid? b. With as advanced as a smart grid is, it is easy to understand that there are several issues that need to be considered when developing a smart grid. From a management perspective it is important to keep in mind the vendor requirements, having and an effective understanding of buyers, having a higher level of customer awareness, complete grid compliance, cost and reliability, workforce skill requirements, contingency planning for any unfavorable conditions, any engagements with developers of the system, and education on the benefits and downfalls of the smart grid. From an organizational perspective one of the most important issues to keep in mind is the level of customer awareness. Several other organizational issues include customer satisfaction metrics, systems integration, new operating metrics, cyber security, and legal compliances. Technological issues that need to be considered are the switches and networks required, the communication systems that are needed to transfer information back and forth between the supplier and consumer, and the monitoring and sensor devices that are responsible for tracking and tracing the energy use. (Laudon, 2010) 3. What challenge to the development of smart grids do you think is most likely to hamper their development? c. The challenges that I feel would most likely hamper the development of smart grids is the initial implementation of the smart grid. This will cause a hindrance for a couple of different reasons. The most obvious issue is how expensive it will be to implement the new monitors and smart grid technological systems. The next challenge would be the animosity that will come about from challenging the existing power companies. Implementing smart grids would cause a financial loss for existing power companies so it is easy to understand why animosity would be come about. (Laudon, 2010) 4. What other areas of our infrastructure could benefit from “smart” technologies? Describe one example not listed in the case. d. There are several areas of our infrastructure that could benefit from “smart” technologies. Areas that could benefit the most are waste management and recycling, transportation, environmental conservation, and agricultural management. Those areas could most benefit because they have the largest impact on society as a whole. If there was a way to find a “smart” fuel for transportation, better than what we have now, society would be drastically impacted. (Laudon, 2010) 5. Would you like your home and your community to be part of a smart grid? Why or Why not? Explain....
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