New Features, Mobililty, and Operating Systems Drive Growth
The global HMI/SCADA (Human Machine Interface and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software and services market is experiencing good growth and evolutionary changes. The marketplace is seeking HMI/SCADA software and services that enable convergence of industrial, building, and energy automation into a single information platform. There is also a desire for integrating HMI/SCADA software solutions with enterprise manufacturing intelligence (EMI) analytics to provide better visibility for all aspects of plant resource usage.
The market is making broader use of HMI/SCADA software visualization to improve business decision making, and distributing real-time data to all levels of the manufacturing organizations through workflow and other complementary technologies. Many companies are adopting the use of mobile devices for remote visualization, leveraging thin-client technologies and platforms for HMI access from any global location.
Mobile devices based on, for example, Apple iOS and Google Android, will access HMI/SCADA software via a web browser, and much of that software will be based on Microsoft Server 2012, Server 2008, or Server 2003. Many end users and OEMs skipped Windows Vista entirely, moving directly from Windows XP to Windows 7. One of the differentiating value propositions that Windows 8 will bring to users is mobility.
Sustainability remains a driving force for HMI/SCADA software and services. One of the biggest benefits of sustainability applications is the capability to tie all operations together to reduce overall raw material costs, providing savings to the entire enterprise. Energy is now viewed as a cost of goods sold (COGS) for each product produced, which make energy management a key driver to maximize profitability.
End users and OEMs are embracing the benefits of virtualization. The basic value proposition for virtualization is the reduction of the number of physical servers needed for a site's computing needs. HMI/SCADA software should support fault tolerant and disaster recovery solutions, as well as leverage the latest cyber security technologies. These are some of key strategic issues affecting future HMI/SCADA software solutions, along with:
- How fast will the adoption rate be for HMI/SCADA software based on Microsoft Windows 8 and Server 2012 operating systems?
- What will the role of the cloud be for HMI/SCADA software regarding analytics, control, and software as a service (SaaS)?
- Where will mobile devices brought in by employees as part of bring your own device (BYOD) programs by deployed?
- Which functions and capabilities are required to enable HMI/SCADA software to provide collaborative intelligence solutions?