Original Research

Optimum systems integration architecture for monitoring to manage an electricity utility

Sello S. Pokane, Musa C. Shilenge, Arnesh Telukdarie
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 24, No 1 | a1525 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v24i1.1525 | © 2022 Sello S. Pokane, Musa C. Shilenge, Arnesh Telukdarie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2022 | Published: 08 November 2022

About the author(s)

Sello S. Pokane, Postgraduate School of Engineering Management, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Musa C. Shilenge, Johannesburg Business School, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Arnesh Telukdarie, Johannesburg Business School, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Background: A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system is critical for remote monitoring and control of devices in various industries such as power utilities, oil and gas refineries, and manufacturing. Previous generations of SCADA systems have numerous limitations in today’s business environment. The latest technological advancements have brought forth new SCADA architecture variants that can be configured to ensure optimised operations. There is a need to assess the latest SCADA architectures that are posed to replace previous generations.

Objectives: This research study aims to review various SCADA architectures and proposes an optimum SCADA system architecture for power utility. The proposed architecture is compared with the existing power utility SCADA system to highlight the impact and benefits of the proposed architecture.

Methods: The research uses a qualitative approach and a comparative case study method to compare 10 SCADA architectures against a literature review-based criterion. A Multi-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) matrix is used to evaluate SCADA architectures and proposes an optimum Internet-of-Things (IoT)-SCADA system architecture for the power utility case study.

Results: The research proposed an IoT-SCADA system architecture for optimum system functioning and compared the proposed architecture with the existing utility SCADA architecture. Moreover, the impact and benefits of the proposed architecture to the utility company are presented.

Conclusion: The proposed IoT-SCADA system architecture has the potential to resolve many of the challenges encountered with previous generations of SCADA system architectures.


Keywords

IoT; SCADA; cybersecurity; integration; industry 4.0

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