Just after IoT taking the mainstream and the tech industry advocating on IoE, the metaphor of IIoT has seen extravagant growth. By 2025, the global industrial IoT market is expected to reach 933.62 billion dollars. The scope of cloud applications and scalability, AI are few eminent factors that will drive additional growth across all industries within it. In an era of stiff marketing strategies which accumulates risks, thought leaders cite investment as inevitable and unavoidable. In 2018, IIoT lauded an extravagant market-lead with the spur of automation while the known digitilastion doing its bit. We have been writing and perennially focusing on the convergence of software and hardware future, considerably, investment in newer technologies or rather opting a new infrastructure churning new ROI has been imperative.
IIoT – The New Gamut of Opportunities
According to IDC, global enterprises will spend $1.7 trillion on digital transformation in 2019. As manufacturers continue digital transformation journeys they are now looking to enter the transformation 2.0 phase, in which they will use new technologies to create even more opportunities and address new challenges on the factory floor. Digital transformation 2.0 takes the benefits of infrastructural changes even further to create new efficiencies. Technologies including IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain will serve as the pillars to support this second wave of transformation.
Is Workforce Ready for IIoT?
As manufacturers implement IIoT, they may realise that the skill set of their labour force also needs to evolve with IIoT. Today’s manufacturing technician must possess new digital skills that allow them to easily decipher real-time analytics. When it comes to AI, for manufacturers to truly tap the vast potential of this technology, they need to employ data scientists in 2019. Data scientists can collate the vast amounts of data provided by IIoT and execute an organisation’s AI strategy.
End-to-End Communications Security Becomes A Norm
Reducing security vulnerabilities will remain a primary focus. With the rising number of IoT devices, hackers and cybercriminals are continuously finding new ways to compromise IoT devices and networks.
In the 2019 fight against cybercrime, multi-layered, end-to-end security throughout the IoT data chain – from end nodes to the gateway to the Internet and finally end users’ application platforms – will be imperative. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) can be paired with Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to enable such versatile end-to-end security. AES is an open encryption standard widely employed for data link layer encryption in low-power IoT networks, while TLS is an application-layer cryptographic protocol for secure web communications. Adoption of these industry-standard, well-proven solutions is crucial to protect the integrity and confidentiality of IoT data against imminent cyber-threats.
Digital Twin Advances Operational Excellence
Digital Twins are said to revolutionize Industrial IoT and be one of the biggest game-changer in 2019. A Digital Twin is a near real-time virtual representation of a physical object or process built to optimize business performance. By creating a complete digital footprint of critical assets, the digital twin enables industries to detect physical issues more quickly, predict outcomes more accurately, and design and build better products, systems, and processes.
For example, manufacturers can use digital twins to create a virtual representation of a field asset. Then as data is captured from smart sensors embedded in the asset it provides visibility into real-world performance and operating conditions. Manufacturers can also simulate that real-world environment for predictive maintenance.
McKinsey predicts linking the physical and digital worlds could generate 11.1 trillion a year in economic value by 2025, while Gartner predicts that roughly half of all large industrial companies will be using digital twins by 2021. As more industries focus on reducing operating costs and extending the life of equipment, we will certainly see a spike in Digital Twin applications and uses cases in 2019.
Another tricky challenge faced by IIoT implementation is the integration of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). And, it is important to securely integrate the two without data loss or the introduction of vulnerability. This makes adopting IIoT technology financially impossible and logistically impractical for many operational businesses. Mostly, IoT devices are commonly developed as independent solutions, and in best-case scenarios, they are injected into the manufacturing process to become a part of the system. However, integration between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) lacks effective connectivity and synchronization. Therefore, it needs to replace either the entirety of their equipment or rely on faulty connectivity.