Thursday, February 21, 2013

Are you ready for the next wave in software?

It seems as if industrial software plunks along for a time, bringing new features and functions to existing software categories, without anything really earth-shaking occurring that makes you stop and go “huh.” I’ve talked a lot about the cloud, and yes, you are getting it from me again.
The reason that all of us are so enthralled with the cloud is not because it’s a cloud, but because of the flexibility, cost savings, and scalability that it can provide you as an end user.  If you think about the change in your behavior when you first started doing on-line banking: some of you were early in, some (like me) carried kicking and screaming into the new technology.  But now, I couldn’t imagine NOT having it.  Late charges on credit cards?  Thing of the past.  Immediate access to my checking, savings accounts? You bet.  But it took an event (well, a couple) to drive me to consider that option—late charges.  And so, you learn, you adapt, and it becomes part of your normal day.

The same goes for industrial software.  Your infrastructure, people, operating systems, hardware, are all limitations to technology adoption.  Sometimes, it takes an event, like an unanswered alarm, or line down, or quality event, to cause a domino effect to occur, and to realize that what you now have isn’t preparing you for the future.
Sometimes, the events are outside your company, requiring your immediate attention—like the Food Safety Modernization Act, or Cyber security concerns, or hardware migration needs—that causes you to have to change.  But the interesting aspect of the cloud as a means of delivering software, is that it is not intrusive, it does not cause you to have to learn anything new, and the industrial automation industry’s choices of products are exponentially increasing.

Last year at this time, you’d be hard pressed to find any industrial products on the cloud outside of a few offerings from very small, niche companies.  This year, the biggies in the industry have all stated their intention to bring cloud offerings to market—and I have to say, proudly, that Invensys has been the leader in providing a roadmap, and tangible products for sale today, that are cloud-based.

It lists not only the products, but partnerships, success stories, and business value of making that decision to go to the cloud—the next wave in software.

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