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Aging infrastructure, combined with poor reliability, reactive maintenance and the lack of renewables integration are key challenges Smart Grid technologies aim to address. Traditional instrumentation used to address these challenges offers static, closed, vendor-defined systems often requiring asset replacement to meet new needs/requirements, which results in the proliferation of 100s of devices with multiple protocols, multiple buses, and hundreds of vendors raising interoperability issues and generating massive amounts of data that needs to be managed, stored and readily available for operators to quickly make decisions. One way to help address these challenges, is to push decision making and intelligence closer to the grid with flexible instrumentation to achieve faster response times, better bandwidth utilization, and functionality field upgrades. This paper is intended to introduce the smart-ready instrumentation and distribute intelligence concepts.