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Industrial Internet of Things: The game-changer for industries

Richard Soley, CEO, Object Management Group and Executive Director of Industrial Internet Consortium, and a panellist speaking at Internet of Things Asia 2016 | March 2, 2016
Richard Soley of Industrial Internet Consortium offers his insights on how industry players should delve deeper and apply Internet thinking to harness IIoT to its full potential – specifically where the Industrial Revolution meets the Internet Revolution.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

The Internet of Things (IoT) industry is set for immense growth in Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ), with the total market size expected to grow from US$250 billion to US$583 billion from 2015 to 2020. We will see IoT's wide-ranging applicability unfold - from consumer to industries. The questions we need to ask are, what can we do with this network of connected things and how can we disrupt current business models to increase efficiency and quality?

With government, utilities, discrete manufacturing, healthcare and retail identified as the top five leading industries in APeJ IoT market, it is evident that Industrial IoT (IIoT) makes up a noteworthy slice of the pie. IIoT is at the forefront, pushing boundaries and defining new realities for high-stake and heavy industries, including manufacturing, government and healthcare - where the Industrial Revolution meets the Internet Revolution. However, in order to harness IIoT to its full potential, industry players need to delve deeper and apply Internet thinking, if they want to truly transform their industries.

Realising the essence of IIoT

Intelligent networks and sensors, unending storage, massive bandwidth, near-ubiquitous connectivity, cloud-based applications, and more, are converging. This phenomenon is driving new capabilities for gathering information in real-time and changing the way humans interact with machines and services. Organisations can easily connect a network of devices and sensors with communications software - such as fleets, appliances, heart monitors and even buildings - to optimise operational efficiency and create further growth. Nearly anything and everything with sensors and software agents can report device-specific information back to other devices or applications.

First, IIoT solutions enable companies to collect asset information more efficiently and accurately and in real-time. Next, predictive analytics can be leveraged on the data captured, along with historical data, to deliver visualisation to business leaders to make the right decisions. Alternatively, the insights from predictive analytics can also directly change actuators in the real world. For instance, a heart monitor can monitor activity and report status change.

In short, IIoT solutions can kick off tasks and execute complex instructions according to their present environment, without human intervention - by monitoring, collecting, exchanging and analysing data. However, this also means that industries are witnessing an even more explosive growth in raw data. In fact, the number of connected units is expected to more than double from 3.1 billion in 2015 to 8.6 billion by 2020, but what's the use in having billions of sensors and devices connected to the Internet which feed through data, if they cannot all 'talk' to one another?


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