Global smart grid deployments helped drive a surge in spending on software and services last year, according to a forecast from Pike Research that found the delivery and management of smart energy generated for $9.4 billion in revenues for the IT industry in 2012. According to the report -- which focused on so-called advanced electricity markets such as solar and wind -- while spending on grid hardware and devices in the U.S. will plateau, companies will need to increase investment in management and analysis solutions that help them make sense of the data they are accumulating from smart meters.

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