More connectivity, more data, more visibility. These are the demands driving significant change in how operations systems are designed and operated. At the forefront of this drive for change is the need to optimize equipment performance, process efficiencies, and responsiveness to internal and external influences. To accommodate these demands, process control technology has had to rapidly evolve over the last decade. This evolution includes new capabilities and requirements, including remote access, cloud, and mobility.
Mobility takes advantage of both cloud and remote access, allowing users to work on the go with few limitations.
However, evolving innovations bring with them many security and technical implications that require architectural consideration for how a chosen solution can adapt, including:
- What communications are required to assemble the necessary data?
- How can data be replicated across firewalls and DMZs to accommodate visibility requirements?
- Where should applications reside while minimizing technical friction?
- Can software be distributed to reduce hardware load?
- What device types will the architecture need to support?
- How is user access managed across applications, devices and locations?
- How can updates and patches be applied seamlessly?
These and many other factors adjust the expectation for network and software architecture design.