Distributed/Remote I/O Users List Top 5 Requirements

A recent study by Venture Development Corp., "Global Market Demand and User Requirements for Industrial Distributed/Remote I/O, Third Edition," identifies the top five software performance requirements chosen by users of distributed/remote I/O buses/networks in DCS, PC-based and PLC system applications:

DCS

1. Compatibility with other software and systems;

2. Ease of use;

3. Reliability;

4. Compatibility with real-time operating system;

5. Ease of configuration.

PC-based

1. Compatibility with other software and systems;

2. Ease of use;

3. Reliability;

4. Ease of programming;

5. Diagnostic troubleshooting capability.

PLC

1. Compatibility with other software and systems;

2. Reliability;

3. Ease of programming;

4. Ease of use;

5. Functionality.

Compatibility with other software and systems was the most identified requirement, being cited by at least 60% of the users for each application. Reliability and ease of use also were among the most identified criteria. VDC also asked leading vendors of software for use with distributed/remote I/O products for their perspective on what users regard as the most important selection criteria. Although compatibility with other software was often identified, functionality and ease of use were thought of as more important selection criteria.

The most identified software features desired by users, which their current software does not provide, are:

o More user friendly/easier to use;

o Better diagnostics and troubleshooting;

o Better documentation;

o Higher reliability.

Jim Taylor, group manager of VDC's Industrial Automation and Control practice, says that software vendors know that the quality of their products is not only important to the users, but important for the entire distributed/remote I/O value chain. "Vendors selling or recommending software for use with their products should emphasize all of these requirements, as well as obviously designing or choosing software that provides these," says Taylor. "With the choice of software becoming more important to users in the selection of hardware, hardware sales can benefit from the aggressive marketing of software."

For more information, visit www.vdc-corp.com.

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