Cloud-Based Aviation SMS May Make Sound Business Sense
Have you been considering the risks of moving your aviation safety management system (SMS) up to the cloud? In the past ten years, many aviation service providers have been moving their SMS data to the cloud for various reasons, but most make sound economic and business sense.
In this article, you will:
- Learn benefits of moving your SMS' data management capabilities to the cloud; and
- See most common questions to ask when considering an SMS cloud provider.
6 Benefits of Cloud-Based SMS Data Management Strategy
1. Predictable Fixed Expenses
With self-hosted, in-house SMS data management, you have a large initial expense to design, develop, test and implement your aviation SMS. Your SMS budget will naturally include subject matter experts to guide software developers as they design and roll out your aviation SMS database.
With a cloud-based SMS data management strategy, you’re able to avoid large initial capital investments and switch to fixed operational expenses. This allows your company to divert investment funds to more pressing operational needs and grow your SMS implementation over time without a huge upfront cost in
- Software development; and
- Subject matter expertise.
Related Aviation SMS Database Articles
- What Is an Aviation Safety Database for SMS Implementations?
- How to Choose the Best Aviation Safety Database Software
- 7 Signs You Need an Aviation Safety Management (SMS) Database
2. Reduced Computer Hardware and Software Expenses
Self-hosted SMS software programs require many elements to sustain a viable, effective safety management system. These elements include, but are not limited to:
- Database server hardware and software;
- Web server hardware and software;
- Backup software;
- File and backup storage;
- Networking equipment;
- Firewalls; and
- Disaster recovery plan (with hardware and software).
With cloud-based SMS database software, you probably already have everything you need, such as existing:
- Desktop computers;
- Laptop computers; and
- Tablets and smart-phones.
In most cases, all you need is a modern web-browser.
Consider how much time and energy you save by NOT having to select the right hardware and software for your SMS implementation. Then you will have to order and configure the hardware and software once it arrives. And don't forget the time to test.
Furthermore, consider how much you save by not having to configure and maintain this network of routers, firewalls, switches, email servers and backup servers. Cloud-based SMS database software relieves you of this constant burden.
3. Accessing Aviation SMS Database from Anywhere and Anytime
With a cloud-based SMS database, your entire staff, contractors and clients can access your SMS data from anywhere as long as they have a modern Web browser and Internet connectivity.
Many cloud-based SMS databases also have offline capabilities, which allows limited interaction with your SMS without an Internet connection. When Internet connectivity is restored, users can synchronize their offline work with the main database.
Related Articles on Benefits of Aviation SMS Database Software
- 20 Benefits of Aviation SMS Software
- Pros and Cons of In-House SMS Database and Off-the-Shelf-Solutions (COTS)
- 21 Benefits of Risk Management Software
4. Better System Support with Access to Subject Matter Experts
How many times have you been at the office or at home and the Internet has gone down? Or access to a particular site or your email server has been disrupted? The issue could be hardware or software. Where do you start to look? Who do you have to call?
Does your organization's IT support staff have the expertise and availability to devote to your SMS database? If your company is like others (and I'm willing to bet it probably is), your IT support staff is beleaguered with daily operational issues.
With cloud-based aviation SMS data management strategy, you are blessed with having SMS database professionals available 24/7 to resolve any problem. There is also a high probability that these professionals will discover a problem before you notice and immediately begin to mitigate the issue.
Finally, software engineers devoted to your cloud-based SMS should be continuously enhancing your SMS program to take advantage of the latest technologies.
5. Optimized Return on Investment (ROI)
Since your cloud-based SMS lacks a large initial investment, you will realize faster ROI. Your bean counters will particularly enjoy this benefit.
6. Optimized Web Servers for Increased Performance
How many times have you clicked a link to a website and immediately bounced because they website took too long to respond? If you are like me, you may have little patience for slow Internet connections and poor performing servers. In addition, it may be difficult to determine where your bottleneck lies. Is it:
- Your internal network (limited bandwidth among multiple users)?
- Your local ISP (internet service provider)?
- Outdated desktop computers with slow hard drives? or
- Third party libraries, such as Google or Amazon services?
Successful SMS implementations rely upon favorable end-user experiences. When users are unable to access your aviation SMS database, they will be less inclined to revisit later. Developers of cloud-based, aviation SMS software rely upon fast servers and stable Internet connections; therefore, you can be assured their motivation lies in offering considerably better service than your local IT support team.
Finally, cloud-based servers are easily upgraded. Your company benefits when your SMS database provider adapts to changing technologies that your local IT support team is not able to capitalize on.
Related Aviation SMS Database Articles
- How Spreadsheets Not EASA Compliant Aviation Safety Reporting Database
- 5 Most Important Things to Know before Buying Aviation SMS Database
- How to Manage Aviation SMS without Complex Databases
Final Thoughts on SMS Database in the Cloud
As you have seen, there are many benefits for managing your aviation SMS data in the cloud. Cloud-based SMS databases are updated in one location by established subject matter experts.
The main benefit of cloud-based SMS data management is that security, backups, disaster recovery and monitoring regulatory requirements are managed by the vendor, thereby leaving you free to focus on managing your business.
Unless you have ultra-top secret operations, you probably have concluded that putting your aviation SMS into the cloud makes solid business sense. With your SMS in the cloud, you will:
- Have predictable, fixed expenses;
- Reduce hardware and software development expenses;
- Manage your SMS data from any location with an Internet connection;
- Access top-notch tech support with qualified subject matter experts;
- Optimize return on investment (ROI); and
- Continually enjoy optimized servers and networks.
You can help assure your organization's success by choosing the right cloud-based aviation SMS provider to help you achieve regulatory compliance.
If you are managing aviation SMS data using spreadsheets, we can help. Since 2007, SMS Pro has become a recognized leader in aviation SMS database software.
Published November 2017. Last updated December 2019.