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SaaS data collection tools eliminate hardware and software hassles

By The Fulcrum Team
August 3, 2023

As the fourth installment in our series exploring the benefits of SaaS data collection tools for electric utilities, join us as we look at how innovative SaaS platforms significantly reduce the need for costly hardware and software maintenance and upgrades, all while offering advanced data collection features.

Hardware/Software Maintenance and Upgrades

While offering a high degree of control and customizability, utilities that choose to develop and maintain their data collection tools become trapped in a continuous and costly cycle of software and hardware upgrades and maintenance.

With technology evolving at a breathtaking pace, in-house software quickly becomes outdated and will almost always lack advanced features found in the latest data collection tools. In a world of continuous updates, in-house solutions lag behind, affecting the quality of data collection efforts to the detriment of utility operations and service.

Hardware presents its own set of challenges. The physical equipment that supports the data collection system – such as servers, databases, and network infrastructure – first requires regular maintenance to ensure they function optimally and then needs regular upgrades to keep up with technological advancements. This ongoing cycle of maintenance and upgrades can lead to significant costs, both as expenditures for new equipment and time spent.

As electric utilities adopt new technologies or upgrade existing ones, they also need to ensure their in-house solutions remain both compatible and free from vulnerabilities, processes which expend a significant amount of time to make in-house software work safely and seamlessly with the new technology.

Beyond resource allocation, these disadvantages also directly impact data. With an in-house system, ensuring the quality and reliability of data often becomes challenging, if not downright impossible. Outdated data collection tools can result in more data input errors, lack of real-time updates, and increased downtime due to hardware or software issues – all of which threaten data quality and reliability, which in turn affects decision-making, operational efficiency, customer service, and financial performance.

Continuous Upgrades and New Features

Frequently enhanced and updated with new features, SaaS data collection tools provide a more dynamic approach that aligns with the data collection needs of modern electric utilities and eliminates the need for additional resources.

The key advantages of employing SaaS data collection tools include:

  • Automatic updates: SaaS platforms frequently introduce new features and improvements without any intervention needed from the end user and assures the software always performs at its most effective and efficient.
  • Flexibility and scalability: SaaS solutions can quickly adjust to a utility’s changing requirements. As the utility grows, SaaS software easily scales to match this growth (or scale down in leaner times), optimizing investment and ensuring a fitting solution for every stage of business development.
  • Compatibility: SaaS providers ensure their solutions are compatible with the latest technology. With SaaS data collection tools, electrical utilities no longer need to worry about compatibility issues or significant overhauls to accommodate new tech developments.
  • Cost-Effective: By allowing electric utilities to shift from capital expenses to operating expenses, subscription-based SaaS data collection tools are more affordable and less financially risky than investing in hardware upgrades and in-house software development.
  • Continuous Innovation: SaaS providers continuously introduce innovative features that help electric utilities stay at the forefront of technology and meet the evolving needs of the industry.
  • Access to Expert Support: SaaS fees give utilities full and easy access to the provider’s own experts who can troubleshoot technical issues, reducing further maintenance burdens.
  • Reduced Downtime: Because SaaS software is designed for continuous availability and reliability, utilities can expect less downtime and disruption to their operations.
  • Improved Data Quality: With automated data collection and real-time analysis, SaaS software improves data accuracy and reduces the risk of human error, leading to more reliable decision-making.

Securing the future with SaaS

The shift to SaaS data collection tools kickstarts a new era of efficiency and innovation for electric utilities, replacing resource-heavy hardware and software upgrade cycles with an environment where they always have access to the most advanced, continually updated, and cost-effective software and services. Leading SaaS data collection tools like Fulcrum reduce maintenance burdens and offer a comprehensive, always-updated platform that adapts as the industry evolves, freeing up electric utilities to focus on building more robust, profitable and future-proof operations.

If you missed the first installation in our SaaS Data Collection Tools Are Best for Electric Utilities series, you can start here to catch up. Also, stay tuned for our next post to learn more about why SaaS data collection tools like Fulcrum can help optimize electric utilities operations – installment No. 5 will cover how SaaS reduces burdens on IT department..

And while you’re waiting, why not sign up to learn more about the Fulcrum platform with a no-obligation chat with one of our Fulcrum experts?