According to ARC, the start of a new year brings with it an anticipation of what we can expect in the realm of IIoT and Industry 4.0. With many manufacturers asserting that it is no longer possible to continue operating their businesses with old technologies and business models, many are transitioning to disruptive technologies. The adaptation of potentially disruptive technologies and alignments has come to be referred to as digital transformation, and will play a major role in future developments in industry. The following are predictions for digital transformation and IIoT based on current trends.
Continued Emphasis on Relationships
As the cost of sensors and microchips decline, more manufacturers are using them to stay connected to the customer. These devices in combination with IIoT enable manufacturers to determine how the customer is using the product as well as monitor for problems and correct them more quickly. Issues can often be diagnosed and resolved remotely. Data obtained through IIoT can also be used to improve product design and customize it to more closely meet the needs of the user.
Control Towers for Supply Chain Management
The rise of big data and outsourcing has led to many businesses adopting control towers to achieve better visibility and enhance decision making. It also enables them to better manage the ever increasing complexity of global supply chains. Businesses that implement IIoT can benefit from real-time data and advanced tracking for predictive analytics. In addition, IoT will allow them to automate a variety of processes such as ordering and predictive maintenance.
Remote Asset Management
Cloud computing is no longer in the experimental stages. Many manufacturers are beginning to realize that external technology service providers are capable of managing plant assets much more efficiently and at a lower cost than they can in house. Technology service providers will increasingly employ cloud and predictive analytics to optimize processes and reduce the cost of maintenance. Support for manufacturing equipment will begin to shift from in house providers to remote services.
Although still in its youth, analytics has become an integral part of the manufacturing organization, from production to the supply chain. The purpose of analytics is to measure performance to lead the way for effective business strategies. The exponential growth in data has resulted in massive changes across organizations with pressure to incorporate all relevant data from multiple sources. Analytics will continue to grow and become more efficient as algorithms and machine learning are developed to facilitate meaningful interpretations.
Improved Security for Edge Devices
Network edge devices may present security risks for IoT as well as IIoT. Replacing an installed base is accomplished only at enormous costs. Security for these devices often relies on network protection and monitoring. In 2016, new technologies such as SDN and NFV will become available through some carriers and are expected to provide better security for edge devices.
The growing number of platforms has brought about various types including software platforms, hardware platforms, infrastructure platforms and a host of others. This number is likely to increase in 2016 as using the right platform is key to successful digital transformation.
Businesses that hope to remain competitive in today’s markets will require an IT platform which enables digital transformation. Outdated methodologies are no longer practical. Only through adaptation of new business models can organizations effectively manage data to meet performance goals and develop effective business strategies.