Hidden Gems: Ignition Is Way More Than You Think
Published on: May 27, 2021

Business needs change so fast that organisations, especially larger ones, are forced to have a closer look at their processes and systems. 

If you’re involved in that, you are most likely going to find that your operation could really use some improvements to boost efficiency and productivity. Besides that, more flexibility and agility would be nice as well. Then, you start thinking about enhancing your existing IT systems.

Alright. You identified what needs to change. And it’s quite a lot. Now what? 

Now, from my experience, this is the moment when people discover Ignition. And when they do, they usually ask me this: 

“What do you like the most about the Ignition platform?”

My answer is always the same…

“That’s an easy one: what I like the most about the Ignition platform is its versatility. You can create almost anything you want for an industrial environment.”

Of course, because of human curiosity, the second question follows immediately: 

“Alright, and what do you dislike the most about the Ignition platform?”

Again, my answer is always the same… 

“That’s also an easy one: what I dislike the most about the Ignition platform is its versatility. You can create almost anything you want for an industrial environment.”

Did you notice? The answers are identical. 

Let me explain. 

No, it isn’t too good to be true

Ignition is genuinely a versatile industrial platform. 

Contrary to many traditional SCADA systems, Ignition is actually a universal platform. 

Other solutions are very hard to configure – either because of the technical knowledge you need to have or simply because they are very limited. Ignition, on the other hand, is way more flexible. 

Just a quick look under the hood will soon convince you: fully cross-platform that runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac OS. There’s even an official Docker Hub image, and you can launch it on any type of device. 

Through the many different modules, plus the option to add just about any functionality through extensive scripting, you can see Ignition as several building blocks that can be used for anything. 

An exceptional world of opportunities

Ignition isn’t just a SCADA system. I mean, how could it be? It’s so much more affordable, transparent, and scalable – not to mention, limitless.

The core functionality of a SCADA system is pretty straightforward – there’s not a lot to play around with. And, often, the daily users upgrade the SCADA system, but the solution still leaves them with many annoying manual tasks. 

Can you guess the tool that everybody uses for these tasks but nobody knows what to do with it anymore or even cares about it? 

Yes. The good ol’ Excel spreadsheets. 

But that’s not all. Around your SCADA system, you will also find an endless number of other tasks, papers, manual processes, and, of course, sticky notes. 

Here’s the good news: intelligent and integrated tools created on the Ignition platform can replace these. 

It’s not all rainbows, though…

Let me tell you the real reason behind my identical answers above. 

We sometimes think about technology and innovation in the wrong way. We tend to believe that “innovation” equals “more”. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Digital transformation is all about humans, and our mission is to help them get their jobs done – preferably, easier.

Innovation doesn’t necessarily have to mean “more”. Instead, let’s focus on the small things we can do to improve people’s daily work situations. 

So, don’t be too carried away by the idea of access to an excellent and versatile platform that should be used for creating all kinds of “more”. Sure, it’s definitely possible – but why overcomplicate things from the get-go? 

All complex systems that work evolved from simpler systems that worked. If you want to build a complex system that works, build a simpler system first, and then improve it over time.

Gall’s Law

Start small, with simple things. Focus on doing them well. Then, we can talk about the next steps. 

It all boils down to this

Digital transformation. At the end of the day, all that matters is to improve people’s lives by putting technology at the core of your business. Period. 

Deep down, nobody truly cares about technology – sure, it’s fascinating, but what’s in it for you? What can it do for you? Why are you using it? These are the questions that inspire us every day to create game-changing solutions for our clients. 

Make it easier for people to focus on the essential things that actually move the needle, and let the technology handle the boring or trivial stuff. 

Let’s remember the iPhone analogy I talked to you about in a previous blog post

We all know the iPhone has many features or at least options for features, which we never use. Sure, out of curiosity, we can play around and install some apps just for fun. But after a while, the phone adapts to our daily use. It improves our lives and helps us get things done. 

What we need getting done and how we do it will, of course, vary. But the beauty of the iPhone is its ability to adapt to exactly my specific needs and wants. 

That’s exactly the focus that should be in the center of any digital transformation initiative in the industrial environment: do simple things well and help people get their jobs done. 

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