Technology has gained a new prominence at Sempra Energy in San Diego. IT is now being recognized by the business as a partner, says Reed Roadman, infrastructure technology manager and a 10-year veteran at the company. No longer considered simply the keeper of back-end payroll accounting systems, Sempra's IT department is playing a key role as the utility industry moves toward smart-grid digital technology and the use of renewable energy resources. "We are on the forefront of technology for the first time, as opposed to trailers," Roadman says.

And Sempra is growing its IT team. Roadman has open positions for server and storage administrator roles, and software development positions are often available as well.

"The culture here is about caring for employees," Roadman says. "We look at employee development and encourage rotation through departments, and I think employees appreciate that."