We still meet industrial companies who talk about SCADA solutions. We do agree with them, SCADAs are great solutions nowadays, but with the introduction of the Internet of Things, the game for SCADAs is coming to an end. At thethings.iO we are workings towards the end of SCADA and the rise of the Industrial IoT.
Scalability, flexible protocols, new connectivity networks, users management and access into advanced algorithms are converting the industry into the new realm of the IoT. There is even a marketing name for this, the Industry 4.0.
Actually, the industry remains to us what the connected home was few years ago. Speaking about the connected home few years ago, was a synonym of speaking about home automation and domotics systems. If you wanted to have everything connected at home you needed to rely on a unique solution for all the devices at home, or at least all of them speaking the same proprietary protocol.
Domotics are dead! Long live to IoT
Several years ago, I listened an expert explaining how home automation and domotics were necessary to have a smart home. At that moment, I asked about what protocols were available to achieve interoperability, and the only solution available was KNX, LonWorks, among few others. Having said that, once you install a domotics system at your home, cables, fiber were needed to be in place. If you needed to move home, it was (almost) impossible to move the domotics system to a new home.
With the IoT introduction and products such as Nest, Philipps Hue, LIFX among others, showed the world the good parts of IoT- simplicity, WiFi connectivity, flexibility and could be moved anywhere. At that point, Domotics were dead! IoT was the new kid on the block ready to replace home automation systems.
SCADA is dead! Long live to IoT
SCADA systems are not scalable. The Internet of Things has the ability to bring in and process large amounts of data from things and machines. IoT allows any company to connect any device and third party services. All the data is collected into an IoT platform, accessed securely with login credentials. Several people from companies and industries can access to the data (or subset of data or subset of devices). Even in the cloud, new resources can be generated, for example, with cloud code from thethings.iO
SCADA is a system used for a day-by-day operations in a control room or similar. Nevertheless there is no data analysis to check the performance, integration with CRMs or ERPs and finally there is no contextual information connected to the SCADA. On the other hand, IoT is all about data analysis, Big Data processing on the top of the data, such as AI algorithms, ML and predictive.
Protocol such as OPC, OPC-UA and others are the standards today on the industry. On the top of that, on IoT there are a dozen of other protocols that can help industries to get connected or to get real-time notifications. MQTTS, HTTPS or CoaP with TLS can help industries plus bring a security layer needed to encrypt the messages and information.
Integration among devices and manufacturers are not easy on SCADA systems. Usually in domotics, you need to have devices from the same manufacturer with the same version. If that does not happen, it’s usually almost impossible to easily integrate devices on the current SCADA. There is no presence of horizontal platforms that are operable across devices. On the other hand, on IoT this is one of the most beneficial features for an industry. Standard protocols such as MQTT enables platforms to communicate with each other even if there is a different vendor.
Does IoT replace SCADA?
Well, probably not yet. Nowadays more and more industrial companies are understanding the benefits to move to the IoT. So, if you want to digitalise your factory, contact us at thethings.iO.