The Top Trends in IIoT … And How They’ll Influence Your Roadmap to Improved Operational Visibility and Higher Quality

left-icon left-icon The Top Trends in IIoT … And How They’ll Influence Your Roadmap to Improved Operational Visibility and Higher Quality
IoT

Connectivity is here. Connectivity is also coming. Over the next five years, 64 percent of manufacturers will be “fully connected” – versus just 43 percent today, according to a recent report from Zebra Technologies. Fully connected manufacturing operations will include wearable technologies, voice integration, RFID scanning, location services, and the like. As large manufacturing organizations look to both scale and expedite the path to full connectivity, it’s important that they – and their supply chain – understand the major trends impacting their ability to execute.

So, what should the manufacturing industry be aware of?

  • Robots aren’t replacing, they’re collaborating. The “cobot” market is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years as enterprises discover that collaborative robots are small, inexpensive, and still highly precise in their programmed tasks. For the industrial internet of things (IIoT), this means more sensors, more data, and greater pressure to scale data storage, which leads us to …
  • Heading to the edge. With the preponderance of data churning out of labs and factories, manufacturers are necessarily looking to edge (aka fog) computing to help scale and the minimize latency of their data intake operations. Edge’s value is that it can meet the real-time demand of IIoT while also managing data storage over the long term. But, all this data has led many in the industry to wonder…
  • Who owns what data. As data typically passes through many different hands in its capture, application, analysis, and storage processes, many enterprises are left questioning who legitimately owns that data. And, without a clear data owner, that can leave operations across many different businesses, stakeholders, and consumers at risk. This data risk isn’t just a matter of ownership, it’s also a matter of …
  • Secure networks. The stakes for securing IIoT are high. And, even as Gartner predicts worldwide security spending will top $93 billion next year, there are still significant gaps in properly securing the networks over which all this valuable data travels (look no further than last year’s major Dyn DDoS attack). The challenges in OT / IT collaboration, coupled with increasingly sophisticated attacks and a torrent of new technologies to manage, leaves many manufacturers playing catch up. And, the anticipated further growth of IIoT, alongside the expectation of continued and even more frequent attacks, means many organizations are extremely vulnerable. However, on a brighter note …
  • There is still more to invest. Recent analysis from CB Insights indicates that the IIoT is ripe for more funding, with acquisitions hitting nearly $100 billion at the end of 2016. Accenture predicts that, by 2030, IIoT will drive $7.1 trillion in incremental revenue in the U.S. alone. Bottom line: Manufacturers should anticipate both a growing number of IIoT start-ups to launch, coupled with an increasing number of high-profile M&A activity – just take a look at this investment list from Postscapes.

The opportunity for greater flexibility, efficiency, accuracy, reliability, and profits driven by IIoT is an exciting prospect for enterprises globally. It is equally important that stakeholders understand the key challenges, trends, and risks facing IIoT, so that they can take deliberate action to ensure they minimize said risks during their implementation. We at Advanced Energy are excited to be part of this connected revolution – the fourth Industrial Revolution – and believe the business opportunities that will unfold over the next 5 to 10 years will chart a path for innovations we can currently only imagine.

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Lior Landesman • Advanced Energy

Lior is an engineering manager and entrepreneur with 25+ years’ experience in hardware and software design of industrial control systems, consumer electronic devices, and wireless systems. As Advanced Energy’s Director of Controls and Information, Lior manages the Connected Power group to supplement AE’s precision power products with digital information solutions and services (Industry 4.0).

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