Understanding Business Process needs is critical to successful implementation of new Information Technology. Understanding Information Technology capabilities is critical to successful evolution of Business Processes.
Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems have been in the gas industry since the 1960’s. Earlier systems provided some data or information from the remotely controlled locations and a few key inter-connections. Now, sophisticated networked systems which contain layers of information detail from field devices and other computerized processes, feed simulators designed to study the process, use expert systems to advise on capability, and provide excellent data and information retention and retrieval tools.
The potential to automate business processes is more complete than ever before. Computers can now help to manage integrated business processes where important data and information is moved regularly from one business process to another under the watchful eye of validation steps, at specified frequencies, with all the necessary reporting to process workers about the health, and performance, of the business process, process links, and the computer system.
The business must understand the benefits and constraints which technology offers to a business process, and find ways to evolve the process with the new technology in hand. The IT manager must understand the business process needs in order to provide the appropriate technology to enable the business process with quick-change capability when change is indicated.
This paper explores some of the relationships between the business process, and the technology impacting the process, on the way to producing a flexible, enduring, and friendly SCADA network, ready to interact with other SCADA systems, other internal processes, and the external world.