The Industrial Internet of Things: Why you need to get up to speed fast


10 November 2016
​by Ciaran Dynes, VP Products and Marketing, Talend
There’s been much buzz around the “Internet of Things,” or IoT. However, recently a subcategory, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has been getting attention. The IIoT is the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in manufacturing. It brings together key technologies like machine learning, big data, sensors and machine-to-machine (M2M) computing in an orchestrated fashion within manufacturing operations.

There are many benefits that the IIoT promises to deliver, like shorter production cycles, more timely responses to supplier orders, the ability to predict consumer shifts and optimise supply chains to meet new demands, and the ability to quickly retool for design changes. However, the IIoT also can transform companies in other ways, thereby helping drive economic growth and competitiveness.
​At its best, the IIoT combines people, data, and intelligent machines to improve productivity, efficiency, and operations across a range of global industries. Let’s dig into a few examples:
  • Fuel efficiency: Fuel is typically the largest operating expense for any airline. Over the past ten years, fuel costs have risen an average of 19% per year. By introducing big data analytics and more flexible production techniques, manufacturers stand a chance to boost their overall company productivity.
  • Predictive maintenance: This helps identify equipment issues for proactive action, creating better functioning equipment that lowers overall emissions. It can also result (in the example of GE) in saving up to 12% in scheduled repairs, reducing overall maintenance costs by up to 30%, and eliminating up to 70% of breakdowns.
  • Better patient care: In healthcare, technology tools are enabling providers to collect health data in real-time and use advanced predictive analytics to help uncover how each patient’s condition may change. By proactively measuring, monitoring, and managing this data, providers can improve care management and address risk factors and symptoms of chronic disease early.
  • Smarter farming and agriculture: Agricultural organisations have used data to determine crop rotation, water allocation, and fertiliser usage to help increase each season’s agricultural yields—ultimately helping meet growing global food demands— and also to gather data that they can then sell to commodities traders. Traders then use this data to predict which companies, crops, and agricultural assets will perform well in the future.

How do you prepare for the IIoT?

​Connected manufacturing will not only create opportunities for growth, but it will bring change and upheaval to IT and operations teams. There is no simple “cookbook” for implementing an effective IIoT strategy; however, there are some key things to bear in mind as you ready your organisation to embrace and reap the benefits from the IIoT:
  1. Creating and managing an IIoT infrastructure within an organisation requires a unique set of skills and knowledge that is difficult to find and will become increasingly in demand as this space grows. IT leaders and executives need to make sure they have the right mix of talent that understands how to collect, analyse, and react to data and knows how to make it work.
  2. ​In data science, there is more demand than available talent. Thus, it is important also to look for data integration, IoT, and big data solutions that are intuitive and easy to deploy and adopt by those who may not be fully-fledged data scientists.
  3. Businesses will need to look for people with the ability to not only design a product but to also rapidly re-calibrate both the processes and pace of a rapid manufacturing cycle.
The business benefits that the IIoT promises will outweigh the challenges that may need to overcome to get there. Today’s competitive companies will need to staff up, strategize, and plan for the newly connected world, or they risk losing.
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