Analyst firm Frost and Sullivan estimates that revenue from SCADA systems and services will reach annual revenues of US$215 million in Australia and New Zealand by 2018, a $65 million increase from 2012 driven by increasing demands from resources industries such as water and mining.
More businesses are turning to clean energy, such as solar and hydroelectric, to help with the challenge of scarce resources, and SCADA systems to have a key role in collecting data, monitoring processes and equipment in these sectors, Frost and Sullivan analyst Krishnan Ramanathan said.
However, many SCADA systems, especially legacy systems, are susceptible to malware and viruses, according to the research firm. Data and control commands are transmitted in unencrypted clear text, increasing vulnerability.
“As competition intensifies in the A/NZ SCADA market, security and technical support will become the main competitive factors for automation majors,” said Ramanathan.
“To gain an edge, experience, support structure, and the ability to invest are important. Open architecture and adherence to International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) protocols will also be critical for customer buy-in.”