A Business Case for never buying another SCADA system

What if...? 

What if you could obtain modern SCADA technology without any Capital spending? 

The newest technologies are adding great value to utility operations.  Real-time analytics, integrated intelligent alarming,  support for mobile devices are just a few of the technologies that can make your operations more efficient and increase capacity. A well designed and well run SCADA system frees up operators so they can focus their attention on more efficient use of plant resources.  Modern systems also have enhanced diagnostic capabilities and more reliable components.  So they do more,  are more reliable, provide greater efficiency and decrease the cost of operation.   Who wouldn’t want a modern SCADA system?  You just need about $100,000 pried loose from town council’s tight capital budget.  

Unless you can obtain a modern SCADA system without Capital Spending.   

What if you never had to be concerned about
system obsolescence?

While technology has always changed, the changes have become greater and come faster in the last few years.   And this rate of change will almost certainly accelerate. Making the right choice for a large technology based expenditure like a SCADA system you will own for years is an essential but risky gamble.  Choose poorly and you will own a system that keeps you stuck in the past for a very long time.  

Most SCADA Systems run on PC technology that is rapidly changing.  Virtually every operating system upgrade consumes more system resources,  degrading SCADA performance.  Eventually the underlying PC must be replaced in order to meet plant operational requirements.  Often that replacement includes a jump to a new operating system version that requires an upgrade of SCADA Software.  Even security patches to an operating system must be evaluated for SCADA compatibility before it can be installed.  In today’s world of cybersecurity threats, this delay leaves operators vulnerable to hackers.  And of course, even if you hold on to your PC to avoid costly software upgrades, large operating system developers may discontinue support for your operating system, forcing a costly SCADA upgrade.  

Hardware components may also become obsolete, unsupportable and unreliable requiring system upgrade or replacement.  If you continue to run your plant with out-of- date components,  any failures may cause lengthy and unscheduled downtime.  System outages may not bring production a halt, but increased man-hours required to keep things running without automation is costly.  

In a perfect world, you would never have to worry about system obsolescence, you could focus on plant operations.   But since we don’t live in a perfect world, at least it would be nice if obsolescence was someone else’s concern.  

What if you could expand your system capabilities at any time without costly system replacement?  

Every system has capacity limitations.  So you either buy for the future and spend money for capacity and functionality that you may never use or spend less and limit your options for the future.  Neither of these alternatives is very desirable.   

Of course,  if you could start with a system sized exactly for your current needs and expand it whenever you want without having to write-off the capital investment in your existing system, that would be the best case scenario.  

What if you never had to pay for service calls? 

Every system, no matter how well designed, installed and maintained will eventually fail or need technical service.  Repairs can be expensive.  And the further your support contractor must travel, the more expensive repairs will be.  Municipal governments have operating budget just for unplanned system repairs.  Hopefully your annual budget for repairs is greater than your annual expense for repairs.  But often as systems age, the need for more repair increases.  

One solution is an annual service contract that covers repairs so that you can budget for them.   A better solution is not having to pay for repairs at all.   

What if you didn’t have to wonder “what if…?”   

Instrulogic already offers the most modern SCADA technology available in our industry through our Service SCADA offering.  There is no upfront cost - no capital expenditure.   We will design a system that is sized exactly for your needs.   We will install and maintain the system for a reasonable monthly service fee.   If the system needs software upgrades, we upgrade it.  If a component becomes obsolete, we replace it.  If the system goes down, we fix it.    All with no additional charge to you.  And if your plant needs change; increased number of users, more capacity or greater functionality,  more sites,  we will expand your system and adjust the monthly cost according to your service agreement.  No costly capital investment. Just SCADA, delivered to you reliably and cost-effectively as a service.   

With the availability of Service SCADA from Instrulogic, why would anyone buy another SCADA?

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Ray Cowell