Edmonton, Alberta – March 2019
Third-party SCADA software systems can initially be an excellent solution for organizations rolling out new SCADA infrastructure. Upfront costs are reduced, and RTU/PLC communications can be quickly connected to pre-built web polling services and displays.
As your systems increase in size and complexity, these early advantages can be overshadowed by the emerging challenges/questions.
If your third-party solution costs don’t scale with your point or device count, your ongoing software licensing costs can be substantial.
The Question of Control
It’s your system, but it’s not your software. Third-party SCADA systems aren’t an investment – they’re on an ongoing cost that your organization doesn’t control. Everything from yearly fees to functionality is subject to change.
Third-party SCADA solutions pull data from your field devices and process it outside your corporate networks. Even with encrypted connections and the best precautions, your mission-critical hardware is still connected to the Internet – exposing a much larger attack surface than having your data firewalled inside your organization’s network.
Fast polling times for third-party SCADA systems can mean higher costs. An internal SCADA system’s speed is only restricted by the speed of your network – making overall polling times (and system performance) much faster.