Industrial Internet of Things: where technology and industry converge

Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, is promising the industrial sector-wide opportunities to solve everlasting real-world problem in areas such as embedded systems, automation and robotics which spans across almost all industries such as automotive, aerospace and construction.

The Industrial IoT or IIoT connects machines, systems, people, and industries over the Internet. According to the Industrial Internet Consortium, “the Industrial Internet is an Internet of Things, machines, computers and people, enabling intelligent industrial operations using advanced data analytics for transformational business outcomes. It embodies the convergence of the global industrial ecosystem, advanced computing and manufacturing, pervasive sensing and ubiquitous network connectivity.”

In the universe of IIoT, things could be: turbines, transformers, and pumps where sensors are used to facilitate data acquisition and control. As well, IT infrastructure, data analytics, and management are critical ingredients in the IIoT universe. IIoT offer various operational and financial benefits: efficiency, safety, profitability

While IIoT market is still emerging and considered to be one eighth of the overall IoT market, forecasts expect that the world market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.56 per cent in terms of value during the coming four years.

Such a market, which is driven by the customer desire to connect, reduce cost and increase efficiency, solve real world problems. The return on investment is projected to be high, investment will increase and the return will exceed double the spending by year 2020.

In the Canadian IIOT market, there already exists major industrial players, such as Awesense (Vancouver-based) and Calgary’s Pure Technologies. Still, there is a long way to go, as per Accenture’s benchmark, where Canada comes with 50.9 out of 100. The ‘national absorptive capacity’ or the NAC reflects the readiness of countries when it comes to make full use of IIoT.

While there are some limitations related to the implementation of IIOT such as latency, synch, security, and upgrade-ability, the rapid speed of evolution guarantees that these issues would be addressed soon.

There are some challenges facing the wide adoption of IIoT. First of all, understanding the market needs, then technology which is evolving rapidly. Selecting the best technology is overwhelming, as well as choosing the suitable software development methodology. Finally, the existing regulations and constraints which might require a continuous review to match the pace of technology is continually changing.

In addition to these challenges, processing terabytes of big analog data, which is generated, for example, by measurements of jet engines, or testing turbines for electric power generation, remains a big challenge. Still, there is a wide spectrum of opportunities created by deploying smarter devices, processes, and infrastructure.

It is critical to understand the technology framework available, and to connect with partners and  industry experts. Also, it is important to solve challenges related to big data sensing, networking, data acquisition, and data analysis. Understanding the business needs, the constraints imposed by industry and regulatory institutions, the security and safety requirements – the adoption of IIoT will move forward.

Tamer Marzouk
Tamer Marzouk
A management consultant, with 18 years of experience in diverse capacities, Tamer Marzouk began his career as an IT professional. Marzouk is an author, speaker, and lecturer. Marzouk holds MBA and M.COMP degrees with research focused on change management and human behavior in ERP implementations.

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