A Guide to Cloud, SaaS, and Lighting Systems
Technology is evolving faster than ever. Businesses and individuals that don't keep up with modern technological changes risk being left behind. As a competent business person whose focus is on growing your business and getting the best returns, learning about Cloud, SaaS, and Lighting Systems is a step in the right direction. This article is more of a brief that can help you get started with the SaaS model in the lighting industry. Let's dive in!
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing generally entails the delivery of computing services over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis. The services can range from data storage, networking, servers, analytics, software, and intelligence. Fitting your business in the cloud model means that you can scale your IT resources according to your current needs. It also relieves you of tedious IT management tasks such as hardware setting and software reinforcement. Your IT experts get more time to focus on more critical business activities and projects.
The ultimate goal of cloud computing is to facilitate better and faster innovation, economies of scale, and flexible IT resources. The term cloud computing may sound strange, but if you have ever backed up your photos on the cloud or Netflix, you have already used cloud computing. Some examples of cloud services include Google Docs, Email, WhatsApp, and Zoom, to mention a few. Ideally, cloud computing services categories are threefold:
Infrastructure as Service (IaaS)
Platform as a Service (Paas)
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Reduced Initial Cost
Cloud computing eliminates the initial capital that would have been used for hardware and software purchase and setting up. It also eliminates the expense required to operate an onsite data center and manage the servers. You are also required to cater for the electricity which runs round the clock and the IT and the IT professionals handling the operations.
The best cloud computing services are provided by a global network of renowned and secure data centers. Providers offer numerous security policies and employ cutting-edge technologies to enhance overall security. This strengthens data files, infrastructure, and app security, protecting them from potential risks and threats.
One major benefit that comes with cloud computing is flexibility. The ability to scale up and down according to your business cycle and needs helps you save on various costs and expenses that you could have otherwise accrued. The scalability can even mean adding or reducing computer power and bandwidth whenever you might need it.
With cloud computing, data backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery are quicker and less costly. This is because your provider can easily retrieve this data from the numerous redundant sites on their network.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud computing model which provides a quick link to cloud-based files and apps. Your vendor will manage these files for you and make it easy for you to access them over an internet browser. The applications could range from business apps, unified communications to office software.
SaaS has gained massive traction in numerous industries over the years. It has a wide range of applications that are quickly extending to lighting systems. Today most commercial lighting systems are operated on-premises controlled servers. These systems are not only expensive to set up, operate and maintain but are also prone to damage from disastrous occurrences such as fires and water leaks which might call for a complete system replacement.
The SaaS smart lighting system is not located or operated from your premises. It has numerous devices, installations, upgrades, and software that you can access and control at any time using a data management portal. The lighting system comes with special sensors, analyzes, processes, and generates data which is then used to create consistent monthly revenue via data-based subscriptions. Your lighting control system vendor will host and manage this application from its cloud data center. You can then use a standard web browser to access this software, whose overall cost is subscription-based.
In the future, it is expected that industrial applications like mining operations, football stadium directional heavy-duty LEDs, etc which involve various business entities will more likely to start using these subscription-based lighting models.
What are the Benefits of the SaaS-Based Model?
Reduced Initial Capital
The overall cost of SaaS services, including installation, maintenance, upgrades, and customer services, is subscription-based. This eliminates the tasks and responsibilities that come with setting up and maintaining an onsite.
Easy to Access and Upgrade
You can easily access SaaS services anywhere with a reliable browser and a strong internet connection. Besides, these offerings have baked-in best practices and reliable user guidelines, making them easy to use.
Hassle-free Recovery, Backup, and Upgrade
Your SaaS vendor will handle all the upgrade, backup, and recovery operations as you carry on with more important tasks.
SaaS offerings are easy to implement, adapt and change. As such, a change in the number of occupants and services does not need you to purchase another software. The SaaS offering can easily react to the change without impacting the normal operation or performance levels.
Smart Building Internet of Things(IoT) Applications
IoT refers to devices that work together to send and receive data. IoT does not replace facility owners, operators, or managers as commonly presumed. In fact, automation makes your job easier by monitoring performance and pointing out potential issues that could otherwise go undetected with conventional hands-on management. IoT has positively impacted numerous industries, including retail and supply chain management, Automotive, Agriculture, Healthcare, Industrial business, Smart buildings. The automation of infrastructures has lowered operation costs and improved efficiency in security, heating, lighting, and so much more. The following are some examples of IoT sensors in use across different major industries:
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC)
Security and access control
IoT sensors enable the collection and analysis of real-time data, which can then be used to make various adjustments such as improving a building's energy efficiency and sustainability, optimizing space utilization, and enhancing tenant safety.
Benefits of Smart Building Internet of Things(IoT) Applications
Below are a few benefits of embracing smart buildings;
Saving operational cost
Efficient consumption of energy.
Increase in the asset value.
Increase in work efficiency.
Anticipating well in advance.
Smart maintenance of equipment.