In earlier days of software technology deployment to water utilities, vendors pushed for on-premise storage of data and technological tools (even software). Servers were deployed to give the engineers at the water utility a sense that their data was ‘secure’ and available at all times. The water system engineer was comfortable in this seeming middle ground between having all their technology and data ‘somewhere out there at someone else’s mercy’ and having full control. Unfortunately, this approach wasn’t scalable to address all the needs the water system engineer had.
But the vendors were fine with deploying hardware on-premise at as many locations as the engineer wanted it. This led to sub-optimal experiences for water systems, especially in terms of their ability to get the most up to date version of the product the water system was relying on to run their operations or system security (for example). For the software vendor, this meant more business even if it meant information silos between the varying instances of the deployment of the tool for the water utility. Information silos that led to poor collaboration between the different water systems that might have been under the remit of the engineer.
Fast forward to 2021 and we are still encountering water system leaders who want these on-premise deployments of tools and approaches to addressing software needs that are sub-optimal and non-scalable. Engineers are still asking us to deploy on-premise servers for the installation of software. Yes, hardware in the form of sensors still have to be deployed in the locations where data capture is required. But to continue to request on-premise servers at the expense of utilizing the new tools of cloud-based software leads to
- Water system engineers at a water utility also having to learn how to work on server management on-premise. As if they didn’t have enough to do. Cloud-based offerings are hosted in cloud services provided by the top companies in the cloud-offering industry and these cloud-servers support Fortune 500 companies as well as Government Security services.
- Water system engineers having to ensure software updates are downloaded and updated to enable the software tools to operate optimally.
The solution to these issues is to get comfortable with using the cloud options that are available. Cloud services are being provided by the new crop of companies that are serving the water industry.