IIoT On the Industrial Edge

Author photo: Craig Resnick
ByCraig Resnick
ARC Report Abstract

Executive Overview

Given the increasing convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), along with the increasing awareness of the potential benefits of Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled solution in industrial environments, ARC Advisory Group believes it’s time to start focusing on the network edge.  In industrial environments, edge computing offers the promise of getting the right device data in near real-time to drive better decisions and even control industrial processes.  For this to work, the edge device, its embedded software, edge servers, gateways, and cloud infrastructure must all deliver industrial-grade availability and performance.

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To gain fresh insights into the current drivers for edge computing in industrial environments, along with the status of, and constraints to this approach, ARC recently conducted a web survey of more than 300 end users about the current and future state of the market.

State of IIoT On the Industrial Edge

Key Takeaways from the Survey

  • The concept and role of the network edge appear to be well understood
  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents agree that on-premise computing systems deployed outside the data center can be defined as edge devices - irrespective of how they will be managed 
  • A mix of edge- and cloud-based technologies will provide the foundation for the future automation infrastructure
  • Approximately 60 percent of respondents plan to take a hybrid approach by balancing future investments in the edge as well as the cloud 
  • Operational factors, on-premise-based, real-time analytics, and asset performance management (APM) will drive edge adoption
  • The top three drivers for deploying systems and connectivity at the edge are operational (i.e., analyzing and controlling devices), improving process speed/reducing latency issues), and reducing data security risks  
  • Most respondents expect to deploy real-time analytics capabilities on premise and as close to the manufacturing process as possible, either at the edge, or on the plant floor level
  • Operational concerns also largely drive user interest in applying edge-based analytics to improve asset performance and maintenance, and improve and optimize production, and prevent unplanned downtime
  • Industrial organizations are planning for the edge  
  • Most respondents will be moving forward with implementing an edge infrastructure using a combination of internal and outside resources to build and maintain it

Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • The Edge and IIoT
  • About the Survey
  • Acceptance of IIoT and Edge Concepts
  • Reasons for Embracing the Edge
  • Planning for the Edge
  • Factors Driving Connectivity at the Edge
  • Recommendations


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