Smart meters and information that needs to be accessed on a consistent basis may drive the need for cloud computing for many electric utilities companies, according to Electric Light and Power.

"All of my clients are looking at how to store meter consumption data externally," Steve Rogers, vice president and North American chief architect at consulting firm Capgemini told the news source. "In the last year and a half, utilities have developed a much higher expectation that any application they buy should have the possibility to be hosted outside their environment."

Electric Light and Power said the main pro is cost-effectiveness, as cloud computing solutions cost less than a comparable server-based system. Cloud computing would also wipe out the need for hardware, making operations run more smoothly. The news source said companies would need to work on improving security and accounting for possible downtime when bringing in the cloud, but better processing, storage and quick deployment are all big positives for organizations looking into cloud-based solutions.

IDC research said cloud computing adoption is still relatively small for utility companies, with 3 percent of respondents dedicating 10 percent or more of their budget to cloud computing. This may see a big jump as companies figure out the benefits of cloud computing.