The recent advances in technology, the increased dependence on electrical energy and the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) were all factors in the increased need for smart, efficient and reliable energy
systems. This introduced the concept of the Smart Grid (SG). A SG is a potential replacement for older power grids, capable of adapting and distributing energy based on demand. SG systems are complex. They combine various components and have high requirements for real time reliable operation. This paper attempts to provide an overview of SG systems, by outlining SG architecture and various components. It also introduces communication technologies, integration and network management tools that are involved in SG systems. In addition, the paper highlights challenges and issues that need to be addressed for a successful implementation of SG. Finally, we provide suggestions for future research directions.