LEGACY BUILDING AUTOMATION SYSTEM MIGRATION
EXISTING SYSTEMS HAVE A SHELF LIFE
Don’t let existing Building Automation Systems delay you from advancing what you would like to do in your facilities.
There are many reasons to hold on to legacy systems in a facility. For many, it is a matter of budget. For others, it is a matter of familiarity. And for others still, it is an issue of availability. The longer a legacy system is maintained, however, the greater the burden becomes on the facility and maintenance personnel.
There is a point of diminishing returns when the cost to upgrade a legacy system has a lower long term impact than the burden of maintaining the obsolete system.
Migrating to a modern Building Automation Systems can provide greater safety and security, greater control of your building, deeper insights into the dynamics of your facilities, and provide a platform for system integration beyond what is currently available.
THE PRESENT AND FUTURE RISK
Technology is a blessing and a curse. It allows us to do far more than we could have previously imagined with our building automation systems. Like any other technology, however, the timeline for support and material availability has shortened.
Historically, when properly designed and maintained, BAS systems could last for a decade or more. As technology has advanced, and demands and risks to systems have increased, the timeline for migration to modern systems has shortened.
There are several risks to legacy (aging or discontinued) systems that need to be confronted.
Hackers are constantly prowling for a network vulnerability to exploit. As systems age, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the software to manage ongoing vulnerability patches. Obsolete systems become a significant cyber weakness on a network and need to be managed differently if not upgraded.
Product Failure without replacement options
Software and hardware advancements have driven the support timeline for most systems to between 7 and 10 years. The longer that a system remains operational, the harder it becomes to find replacement equipment when a failure occurs. These replacement components also traditionally cost significantly more than their modern counterparts.
System Infrastructure Advancements
As buildings adapt to the changing needs of its occupants, networks are updated to meet the growing demand for connectivity and accessibility through the building. Modern network infrastructures provide a means by which more can be communicated and managed over a single communication line.
Legacy systems, however, are typically unable to adapt to the changing infrastructure, and the facility managers are therefore limited in what they can accomplish with their system. System Infrastructure advancements provide a pathway to better control of a building and create more burden to maintain legacy systems.
PROTECT YOUR EXISTING INVESTMENT
The right migration partner is focused on two things:
- Respecting your existing investment by working to utilize as much of it as possible
- Consulting on what legacy systems need to be replaced for future system health and viability.
As an integrator, we are a consultant and support solutions provider. We take seriously the role of advising our partners and customers on the best path forward for their facilities. In the end, however, it is the partner’s decision how best to proceed given the information at hand.
While there are many cases when it is best to rip out an existing system and completely replace it, it is far more likely that much of an existing system can be retained while migrating your building to a modern system.
CM3 works to provide the best path forward for every facility. In almost every instance, this path forward includes the migration and integration of legacy systems. The long term goal, however, should always be migrating a legacy system out of a facility.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
There are many things to consider when assessing the need to upgrade and migrate your legacy Building Automation System. Here are a few of the most important questions to process through before making your next building investment.
What is the long term plan?
This is the most important step in the process. What are your long term goals for your facility? With effective long term vision, we can better design a building automation system upgrade that meets your present and future needs.
Will there be additional phases?
This question takes into account budget, timelines, and building accessibility. Perhaps the building upgrade will happen during occupied times which limits space availability. Perhaps there is a short window within which work must be accomplished, which may limit the scope that can immediately be accomplished. Perhaps there are limited funds available each year, which means that a phased approach is the only option.
How have your building needs changed?
Have you reworked office or classroom spaces? Have repurposed spaces for additional functionality that may demand better environmental control in the space? Consider how your buildings have changed, and what changes need to be made to your building environment control to meet those changing needs.
What more can I do today that wasn’t possible before?
Modern Building Automation platforms, when properly utilized, can provide a single pane of glass into understanding and controlling every aspect of your building operation. Modern network infrastructures now provide a means by which a single Building platform can provide total control over many systems, including temperature, lighting, power, access control, and security. And all of these systems can be monitored in real-time by an analytics solution that provides actionable insights to continually improve building dynamics.
As you assess your changing building needs and the burden put on your support personnel, consider what more you can accomplish by migrating your Building Automation System to a modern system with greater functionality.
CM3 Building Solutions’ team has been providing legacy Building Automation System migrations for decades. We have deep knowledge of how to effectively respect existing investments while planning a migration that will meet long term building needs.
Contact CM3 today to discuss how we can help you modernize your Building Automation Systems.