Recent trends indicate that The Cloud is not only a reality that is here to stay, it is a strategy that every business must consider in order to remain competitive in the global market. Over the last ten years, cloud technology has emerged as a key trend, but little information is available about the specific impact that The Cloud has on both engineering content management (ECM) and asset information management (AIM).
What is The Cloud?
The Cloud may refer to a model for internet-based computing or to the provision and use of services, software, platforms or infrastructure as a service. Cloud-based solutions may be offered in several deployment models: as a private Cloud, a public Cloud, hosted or as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. An emerging option known as the hybrid Cloud combines the different deployment models. Each model comes with its own benefits and risks, so selection is greatly affected by the specific regulatory and business compliance needs of the client organization.
Change and greenfield projects
In brownfield situations, Owner/Operators of capital-intensive production facilities are faced with many change projects each year, ranging from small plant modifications to large capital projects. In greenfield situations, the entire plant needs to be designed and constructed with the involvement of many contractors and suppliers. In large capital projects and greenfield projects, the supplier network needs to be managed and must be able to collaborate with a clear overview of the project tasks at hand. The more complex the installation and the more information and suppliers are involved, the more relevant the case is for collaboration in The Cloud.
Public Cloud deployment is the best known cloud model and offers the greatest cost savings – but also the highest level of risk.
Private Cloud models offer a viable solution for asset Owner/Operators who wish to leverage Cloud technology, while at the same time retaining control over their technical asset information within a privately hosted environment.
Hybrid Cloud models combine two or more Clouds to effect deployment. The greatest advantage of this model for ECM and AIM is that technical asset data is controlled, highly secure and remains locally available at all times – regardless of internet connectivity. Hybrid Cloud models combine the benefits of on-site storage of asset data with the scalability of Cloud-based deployment.
Considering The Cloud
Deployment models are not the only consideration that must be weighed when deciding whether or not to migrate to a Cloud-based EDM solution. For ECM and AIM applications, data security, any-time access to data and a full audit trail are all essential requirements. The (Cloud-based) ECM solution also needs to offer sufficient functionality to support and optimize business processes, ensure up-to-date, as-built information and facilitate change management projects.
In addition, the solution must assure regulatory compliance to protect a company’s licence to operate. Attention should also be given to issues such as user training, password identification and logins, group filing systems and, of course, integration with existing enterprise, facility management and maintenance systems.
With over 25 years of experience in providing ECM solutions, BlueCielo started offering Cloud-based solutions ten years ago.
BlueCielo’s solutions can be deployed independently of the operating system, either in a hybrid Cloud, a private Cloud or hosted. The entire solution offering includes key capabilities such as master data and Asset Information Management, global collaboration and data exchange, transmittal management and trusted security protocols. In addition, BlueCielo’s solutions support a full audit trail and are compliant with governmental, environmental, safety and quality regulations.
BlueCielo solutions are not only effective, they are also easy to use. User-friendly interfaces, advanced search options, customizable reports and workspace configuration combine with automated workflows and version control to ensure that engineering data drives all projects.
BlueCielo cloud-based ECM solutions offer the following business benefits:
- Independent of operating systems
- Integrated with mainstream systems
- Global accessibility through browser-based application
- Scalable to support the relevant number of users
- 24/7 global availability of engineering data
- Project documentation stored in a single, secure location
- Full proof of control and traceability of master documents
- Full audit trail for regulatory compliance
- Reduced IT overhead costs
- Quick implementation