An oil company gets hundreds of wells up and running in record time. A pump manufacturer pinpoints water leaks amid miles of pipes. And an elevator maker predicts maintenance issues before they create problems.
All of these capabilities and more are available thanks to cloud-based software and data. Amid concerns about safety and data breaches, converts are finding that the key to making the cloud work for continuous process applications is knowing exactly when and where to use it effectively while also mitigating risks.
Opex over capex
Moving operations applications to the cloud allows companies to save upfront costs and time. By subscribing to a cloud service, plant operators can avoid standing up their own servers, software and other systems for monitoring machines, often in much less time and at lower initial cost. Moving process systems to the cloud can be as simple as opening an account and configuring cloud-based software. In short, the cloud allows companies to move from a capital expenditure model to an operational expenditure model, paying only for what is needed at any given time.
This means that even small and midsize organizations with limited resources can more easily get operations running. The benefits are particularly compelling for distributed assets—that is, equipment that operates in the field, far from service personnel.
“Moving to the cloud is a natural step towards reducing total cost of ownership by leveraging suppliers to provide system capabilities as a service,” says Jason Urso, vice president and general manager at Honeywell Process Solutions. It can cut down on field visits and reduce maintenance costs for customers, and enable equipment suppliers to monitor and maintain equipment for them as part of a subscription model.
Read more: Industrial Processes Move to the Cloud