When it comes to the Internet of Things, the potential is for billions of connections worldwide, ranging from wearables to connected cars and other consumer-based devices. Now add in all of the assets that are being made on an industrial perspective—from factory floors to oil rigs out in the ocean—and what you have is the potential for hundreds of billions of connections.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) has become its own subset of the IoT conversation, focused on connections that happen across such sectors as manufacturing, energy, mining and transportation. And the potential across each of these sectors is tremendous. The expectation is that manufacturing, transportation and utilities will lead the way with billions of dollars in spending on IoT in the coming years.
Industrial organizations that are either considering an investment or are already heavily invested in IIoT are finding that success requires a refreshed look at the business model overall. While IIoT enhances the business by expanding revenue, the pitfalls come when companies fail to invest simultaneously in operational and customer care capabilities. In fact, success is most accurately defined by those organizations that are fundamentally transforming strategy and organizational culture. Beyond just the sensors and hardware, the true value comes in the ability to obtain and translate that valuable data coming off assets. And the impacts resonate across the entire supply chain.
One of the biggest issues facing the development of IIoT involves security, which becomes an potentially serious issue when you are talking about thousands of controllers and devices on a factory floor, for example. This involves multi-layered security approaches, frameworks and sets of controls, all of which are constantly in development. In addition, organizational groups are looking to develop industry consensus on the topic. For instance, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has introduced such approaches as the Industrial IoT Analytics Framework and the Industrial Internet Security Framework (IISF), the latter of which is based on a standards-based architectural template and methodology to provide a common framework and concepts for IIoT system architects.
TIA’s working groups, training opportunities, advocacy, business networking, videos and services are ready to help you navigate the complex world of the Industrial Internet of Things.
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