5 Reasons to use a cloud-based energy and utilities management system

Submitted by Júlia Assis on Thu, 06/28/2018 - 13:19
5-reasons-to-use-a-cloud-based-energy-and-utilities-management-system

Check out a few tips on how a cloud-based energy and utilities management system can make your business more reliable, scalable, and efficient.

An energy and utilities management offers benefits like an increase in energy efficiency and cost reductions, in addition to handling regulatory issues, helping to support certifications, and contributing to improving the environment. However, before acquiring an energy and utilities management system several questions come to mind for the manager: "What is my financial return?" How much will be spent? What are the advantages of choosing a system based in the cloud instead of in my infrastructure?"

It is necessary to choose a good business support platform so that this system can deliver the expected return. The financial analysis of this investment can be made by calculating the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), which compares the cost of operating a system in a local or cloud environment. There is increasing pressure to reduce costs without compromising quality and, with cloud computing, a fast, secure environment is attainable with customized resources and accessible from any device, without requiring large investments in infrastructure and hardware.

See in this article why more companies have invested in this technology and how to leverage your business by acquiring or migrating your energy and utilities management system into the cloud.

Cloud computing: what this technology represents in the current scenario

In the world of Industry 4.0, cloud computing has become increasingly popular because it offers flexibility and simplicity in the provisioning of systems.

Although the concept of cloud computing emerged in the 1960s, this technology only became widespread and heavily used in organizations in the first decade of the 21st Century. The Cloud Computing sector is the IT sector that grew most in Brazil in 2017, representing about 51.7%, according to research published by Brasscom. This advance reflects a shift in the corporate mindset and how performance and security have been key factors in the acquisition of new services.

According to the CIO website, 96% of companies in the world use some form of cloud services, with 81% of companies operating with a multi-cloud strategy.

The term "cloud" is broadly used when we want to talk about storage, solutions, or operation of systems in an external network. There are three types of cloud services:

  • Public cloud, which offers services through a virtualized environment accessible via the internet. It is the least expensive type of cloud because it shares resources with other users and the customer pays only for the resources used;
  • Private cloud, which offers services for the exclusive use of the customer. This is the type of cloud indicated for companies that have crucial data or require a more robust environment;
  • Hybrid cloud, which offers all of the resources available in public and private clouds. It is indicated for organizations that need to frequently resize the resources of their system without losing storage space or processing power.

The choice of the type of cloud varies with the need of the customer and, at present, there is a range of cloud providers, each with a variety of services and prices.

Advantages of adopting a cloud-based energy and utilities management system

In the case of an energy and utilities management system, we know that a large amount of data needs to be processed, documented, and analyzed in order to obtain information that results in the best use utilization of energy, cost reductions, and consequently good financial return and competitive advantage.

In addition to choosing a good energy and utilities management system it is also necessary to assess how this service will be made available. A local infrastructure can require time and resources above that expected from cloud-based technology. Below we explain five reasons why the cloud infrastructure should be adopted to host your energy and utilities management system with lower TCO.

1. Availability

The guarantee that the system will always be accessible is given by the cloud provider, in accordance with the previously defined SLA (Service Level Agreement). Access can be made from any device that has access to the internet. Higher-tier data centers, network, energy, and cooling redundancy guarantee increased availability.

2. Investment

A local infrastructure is no longer necessary, eliminating costs associated with the acquisition of hardware, network contracts, and server installation. Provisioning in the cloud offers various service packages, taking into account hardware, memory, vCPUs, and other specifications necessary for a good functioning and performance of the system. In addition, cloud providers offer premium storage in SSDs, which guarantees persistence, security, low latency, and high data transfer rate.

3. Security

Once allocated in the cloud and in accordance with the defined service level, the systems have their data distributed in data centers, protected against unauthorized access, vulnerability, or possible attacks by malicious agents, in addition to scheduled backups, firewall, and control of the inward and outward flow of information. It also provides VPN configuration, so that other machines in the network can be accessed securely.

4. Flexibility

The acquisition of new machines is no longer necessary for a system upgrade. Resizing of disks, addition of memory, and other adjustments do not require physical intervention in machines, providing a flexible and scalable environment that can be adjusted (including automatically) according to requirements of the customer.

5. Monitoring

This is one of the strategies that adds the most value to the product, since anticipating problems and monitoring environments to guarantee reliability is a differentiator in cloud systems. With cloud monitoring it is unnecessary to have a team dedicated to monitoring, since the cloud provider itself provides this function. It is possible to extract reports on system usage and on resources, data flow, and logs, in addition to the customization of alerts in case of a fault. With these resources it is possible to execute a detailed incident management flow, ensuring that new problems are foreseen and addressed more easily.

Conclusion

The adoption of cloud technology has shifted from being a differentiator to being a necessity in the current competitive market. By choosing a cloud-based system, the useful life of equipment, physical security, and other physical costs are crossed are removed from the investment, making this acquisition transparent and adaptable according to the needs and growth of the business. Basically the contractor delegates responsibilities (maintenance, monitoring, and security costs) to the cloud provider.

It is important to calculate the TCO and to compare the available possibilities so that the costs are assessed for the acquisition, implementation, maintenance, and support of the energy and utilities management system. For a better analysis, several providers offer calculators that compare the cost of the acquisition of a cloud environment with an on-premesis environment.

Being able to rely on a safe, efficient, and scalable environment is essential to the success of an energy and utilities management system. Therefore performing benchmarking of the platforms and services offered and having the requirements for the environment well-defined are important for making the best decision.

Viridis offers a cloud-based commissioning model using Cloud Computing environments, with the option of public or private cloud environments. There is also the option of using the environment contracted by the client from their current cloud providers. In both cases, data communication with the sites is performed by the Viridis IoT Gateway, a technology developed by Viridis exclusively to provide bi-directional integration in real time with multiple local systems, in addition to performing edge analytics. Commissioning in the cloud offers federated authentication, public or private cloud, and encryption, among other features to provide the highest level of trust and security. Click here to learn more about our solutions. 


Software Reliability Analyst, Viridis

Software Reliability Analyst at Viridis, trained in Information Systems at PUC  Minus and enrolled in post-graduate work in agile methods and DevOps practices at IETEC. Specialist in technical support, network infrastructure, software management and development. 

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