To many, a lot of secrets are at the bottom of the often-cited catchphrase "Smart Grid". This article gives an overview of the options that information and communication technology (ICT) offers for the restructuring and modernisation of the German power system, in particular with a view towards its development into a Smart Grid and thus tries to reveal these secrets. After a short outline on the development of ICT in terms of technology types and their availability, the further analysis highlights upcoming challenges in all parts of the power value chain and possible solutions for these challenges through the intensified usage of ICT applications. They are examined with regard to their effectiveness and efficiency in the fields of generation, transmission, distribution and supply. Finally, potential obstacles that may defer the introduction of ICT into the power system are shown. The analysis suggests that if certain hurdles are taken, the huge potential of ICT can create additional value in various fields of the whole power value chain. This ranges from increased energy efficiency and the more sophisticated integration of decentralised (renewable) energy plants to a higher security of supply and more efficient organisation of market processes. The results are true for the German power market but can in many areas also be transferred to other industrialised nations with liberalised power markets.