2014 System Integration Study
In June 2014, Control Engineering surveyed member of their audience who are directly involved in aspects of system integration within their organizations. Respondents include system integrators, those who perform some system integration services in-house, and those who hire system integrators for projects. This study asked key questions on system integration practices, including average project size, devices integrated, preferred qualities of a system integrator, and issues with project schedules and budgets.
Control Engineering considers the following five insights to be high-level findings that are impacting the system integration industry today:
- Project size: The average system integration project size among respondents was about $67,000. Third-party system integrators averaged 18 projects per year, while in-house system integrators averaged 17, and those who hire system integrators averaged nine.
- Skills for quality work: Engineering skills were seen as the most helpful by 98% of respondents for system integration services. Other helpful qualities included project management skills and knowledge of industry and national standards.
- Role of system integrator: Nearly 60% of respondents think system integrators should join a project either at project inception or for the entire lifecycle. However, respondents reported that system integrators typically join at the project design or specification phases.
- On time, on budget projects: On average, 69% of respondents' system integration projects during the past year were on time, and another 61% said the project was on budget. If a project was indicated as over budget, 50% of respondents said the overrun was due to administrative issues, such as scope creep, delays in approvals, etc.
- Project effectiveness: Nine out of every 10 respondents rated the automation system integration in their facility, or in the facilities where they were involved, as either highly or moderately effective.