Predicting Winners from the Industrial Internet of Things Revolution

by Guest Author on January 9, 2016

in Articles, Guest Posts

internet_businessWhile the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has already begun to revolutionize manufacturing and industry, the biggest changes are yet to come. The process of achieving total interconnectedness however, will require overcoming multiple challenges.

The challenges start with settling on device capabilities. With so many options available to process control operators and manufacturers, they must analyze several key elements before selecting a machine-to-machine (M2M) solution. These include deciding what information to store and collect, what are best ways to evaluate the information, how to use the data from the analysis, assessing the long-term economic value, and gauging return on investment (ROI). Other potential issues to overcome for companies wishing to implement IIoT include:

  • Responding to Supply Chain Concerns: Those responsible for implementing IIoT must consider how their organization can best remain transparent in regards to a standardized manufacturing process. They need to demonstrate how they will follow an open standard that involves using the firmware, hardware, and software solutions required.
  • Security and Safety Challenges: Any piece of equipment that connects to the Internet is vulnerable to damage inflicted by hackers. With so many machines and devices connected to the IIoT, companies must take care to install advanced cyber threat protection before allowing employees to operate any part of the IIoT. Physical safety concerns are a significant issue as well. IT and OT departments must increase levels of collaboration to minimize these risks.
  • Increased Cooperation and Communication between Different Groups: Successfully implementing the IIoT requires control engineers, IT engineers, and architects to upgrade their skills and value the contribution of the other departments. This involves completing additional training as well as a willingness to embrace new technology for the good of the organization.

Who Benefits from Meeting IIoT Implementation Challenges Successfully

Consumers and other industries will benefit when the majority of manufacturing and industrial businesses start using IIoT. Hardware and software manufacturers as well as consultants stand to gain the most because they will be the ones assisting organizations with getting fully integrated with the IIoT. Additionally, companies providing cyber security, networking equipment, manufacturing sensors, and other tangibles needed for a successful transition to the IIoT will also benefit.

Consumer, Industrial, and Manufacturing Opportunities Available with the IIoT

While implementation of the IIoT is still in its early stages and the challenges of getting it fully functional are real, companies that are willing to invest the time and resources in overcoming these obstacles can expect a big payoff. One example is the creation of new and upgraded consumer products such as electronics, home security systems, items for recreation and leisure, health monitoring devices, and many others.

Companies will use the Industrial Internet of Things to increase productivity in order to improve the delivery of a service. This includes such things as medical equipment, industrial machinery, airplanes, smart utility grids, and smart cities. The ability to use smart technology will ultimately have a positive effect on the environment.

In the manufacturing realm, there will be improvements and new developments in the way that workers produce goods such as manufacturing and material handling equipment, robots, warehouses, and factory buildings. The ultimate goal is to implement an entire system of smart manufacturing across the industry.

Ultimately both manufacturers and consumers stand to benefit in the long run from the coming era of the Industrial Internet of Things. However, similar to the entrepreneurs of the Gold Rush era who made their fortunes by selling the picks and shovels to prospectors rather than mining the hills themselves, the biggest beneficiaries of the IIoT may be the consultants and experts who help facilitate the transition.

Guest article written by: Andrew Armstrong is a technology enthusiast, business owner, and digital marketing strategist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate of UC Berkeley in 2003, Andrew enjoys Cal Football games, experimenting with new technology, and chasing around his toddler son with his wife. Follow him on Twitter @kickstartsearch

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