An undeniable growing trend in the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) industry is the consolidation of SCADA developers under larger corporate brands. It seems that when a small company develops a SCADA product that has any success at all, it’s not long before a larger company with more resources acquires the smaller company and their software.
Now, I’m not about to judge whether this is good or bad – and there are valid arguments for both sides. I am simply calling attention to an obvious fact. The trend is illustrated on the timeline below:
As time goes by, the mergers and acquisitions become increasingly frequent, and this trend shows no signs of changing any time soon.
So, the question is: Is there a place for independent SCADA developer’s in today’s market?
The short answer is yes. There is a place and a real need for independent developers who create quality software and are able to sell the software at a more accessible price. There are several reasons why this is the case:
- Many industries in developing nations have a need for process automation and monitoring software, but the offerings of the larger companies are cost prohibitive.
- Systems Integrators all over the world have projects with very specific needs, and the larger SCADA products and their excessive cost are not entirely necessary.
- Some customers place a greater value on service and support, and the more personalized attention they can receive from a smaller company outweighs the perceived value of a well-known brand.
There are several other reasons why smaller, independent SCADA developers have a place in today’s market. The important point, though, is that SCADA customers need to have options. There are so many different industrial processes and so many types of data to monitor, that it is bordering on preposterous to think that one SCADA solution – or even a small set of similar solutions – can accommodate all of the varied needs of today’s consumers.