Recent moves by General Electric aimed at advancing its Grid IQ smart-energy solution reflect bigger trends in the sector as providers push into the cloud and begin targeting more municipal utilities and co-ops, analysts say. According to analyst Jesse Berst, hosted services, such as those offered under the banner of GE Digital Energy, give utilities enhanced security and scalability at a lower cost point, while deals such as those GE recently signed with cities in Georgia and Florida make sense because municipalities are particularly interested in cost containment.

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