In the last few years, smart grids technologies have been deployed in electricity networks through national and regional initiatives, worldwide. Currently, a smart grid body of knowledge is being built around the outcomes of projects sponsored by these initiatives. Now, the impacts and benefits of demonstration projects might be measured and decision makers are able to evaluate the possibility to deploy those types of technologies on a large scale. This thesis reviews the smart grid technologies deployed on electricity networks of two important regions: U.S. and Europe; and it condenses the principal statistics around smart grids investments in those two regions. It gives an introduction of smart grid architecture model (SGAM), which is used to analyze the smart grid systems in technology-neutral manner. In smart grid systems, information and communication technologies will become the central nervous system of the power network. Due to this situation, cybersecurity will play a significant role in the electricity grid landscape. This thesis examines the vulnerabilities present in devices and cyber assets, as well as possible threats of the network. Another aspect which is of considerable interest in the electric sector is the evolution of electricity tariffs in smart grids. The document describes the current electricity tariff structure in Europe and how it can change due to the integration of new technology in the distribution network. Smart grid project should be assessed quantitatively and qualitatively to determine the impact on current power systems. For this purpose, it is performed a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) on future projects. The European commission through the Joint research center elaborated a CBA methodology to evaluate smart grid projects. The asset-functionalities-benefits mapping is at the core of the methodology, and with this, projects show the economic value proposition for the customers.