It Is Not Just About the Internet or The Things

Author photo: Peter Reynolds
ByPeter Reynolds
Industry Trends
There is no doubt that the Internet of things has become a buzzword in our industries. Many are still trying to piece the meaning together and determine how a particular solution or service fits into this great concept. According to Wikipedia, the Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP). Things are usually objects that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to, or things may be inanimate material objects as distinct from a living sentient being. For the consumer space, we can imagine a world where everything is connected. We arrive at the train just on time, our lighting turns on when we arrive home, and based on our biometrics that are connected; our music starts playing according to our mood. For the industrial space, we know that it may be very different.

For​ the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the Internet or connectivity dimension can be wired networks you own and build, industrial Buses like Profibus, Fieldbus and Hart and the network switches that tie everything together. It can also be wireless like proprietary radio, industrial wireless, and even the automation systems that operate a plant, or the private and public data centers or cloud providers that provide necessary services for applications. The things for Industrial Internet of things are the non-human stuff like field Sensors, final Control elements, rotating Equipment, production lines, big metal assets vehicles, buildings and infrastructure.

Connecting industrial things is important, but more important is how people and organizations will use IIoT to drive value and make better decisions, reduce cost and optimize operations. IIoT is about the creation of business value from the tools to solve specific business problems in industry, are easy to use and adaptable to your industry at a price point that is affordable. Industrial data will extend far beyond the traditional boundaries of plants, corporate data centers, and even countries to accomplish the goals of connecting people and systems to the "things" that make a difference. This IIoT paradigm shift from internalizing data to externalizing the information to service providers using powerful analytics tools provides the much needed technological competitive edge and industrial sustainability. ​ Peters graphic.jpg

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