SCADA’s Biggest Costs

SCADA’s Biggest Costs

By: Allan Evora

What makes SCADA cost what it does?

I recently wrote an article published on the CSIA Exchange about the reasons SCADA costs what it does. Specifically, I write about four main components to SCADA’s price.

SCADA has a lot of moving parts, and the overall cost comes down to a lot more than the individual software package you select. My hopes are that after reading the article, you’ll be able to make intelligent specifying decisions to make your SCADA project a little more economical.

If you’re looking to reduce the cost of SCADA, check out this ebook on 12 ways to make SCADA a little more affordable during specification.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the article on SCADA costs:


Not All SCADA Software Is Created Equal

There’s no such thing as “the best” or “#1” SCADA software. It all depends on what your unique environment needs are, and what’s most important to your operators. You may find that the historian part of the software is most important, which means you’d probably decide on a different software than if third party add-ons like Dream Report were most important.


How Many Operators Do You Have?

Many of our customers run into licensing issues because they don’t initially identify stakeholders and operators who need access to the system before deciding on a particular SCADA software. Some SCADA software has unlimited licensing, but requires physical installation on an onsite computer, which represents additional costs.


How Crucial is Redundancy?

Redundancy is a significant cost driver. That’s why, as a system integrator, we try to help our customers decide if redundancy is even necessary. And if so, what level? Hint: it all comes down to downtime. How much downtime can your facility withstand before you are at an unacceptable level of risk? (risk to safety, revenue, goals, etc.)


How Many Points Do You ACTUALLY Need?

This is the #1 cost factor when selecting a SCADA system. Most of the time, owners are paying for way too many points they don’t need. You should only capture points required to operate and maintain your facility. Some low-cost SCADA solutions actually cater to facilities that only need a few points.


Check out the article to read a more in-depth version of the four points, and to know what to do to stop SCADA from becoming a significant cost burden.

Let us know how we can help you with your next instrumentation or controls project.


Allan Evora - Founder | Affinity EnergyAllan D. Evora is a leading expert in control systems integration and president of Affinity Energy with over 20 years of industry experience working in every capacity of the power automation project life cycle. With a background at Boeing Company and General Electric, Allan made the decision to establish Affinity Energy in 2002. Allan is an alumnus of Syracuse University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, graduate of the NC State Energy Management program, and qualified as a Certified Measurement & Verification Professional (CMVP).

Throughout his career, Allan has demonstrated his passion for providing solutions. In 1990, he developed FIRST (Fast InfraRed Signature Technique), a preliminary design software tool used to rapidly assess rotary craft infrared signatures. In 2008, Allan was the driving force behind the development of Affinity Energy's Utilitrend; a commercially available, cloud-based utility resource trending, tracking, and reporting software.

Allan has been instrumental on large scale integration projects for utilities, universities, airports, financial institutions, medical campus utility plants, and manufacturing corporations, and has worked with SCADA systems since the early ‘90s. A passion for data acquisition, specialty networks, and custom software drives him to incorporate openness, simplicity, and integrity into every design in which he is involved.