Over the past few years, IIoT has been increasingly advancing across all industries. Business investments in IIoT systems are now on the increase and will reach over $830 billion dollars by 2020, according to a forecast report by Forbes Magazine. The report also indicates that manufacturing, logistics and transportation industries will be on the frontline of IIoT spending with each averaging $40 billion dollars.
Nevertheless, there are many misconceptions regarding IIoT benefits and its implementation across the manufacturing industry. Upon accepting such notions as true, these companies can truly miss out on IIoT transformational power and its ability to enable operational efficiency and the creation of new business models, value propositions and markets. To ensure that manufacturing companies are able to tap into the full potential of IIoT, it is important to separate propaganda from reality. We have identified a few IoT myths and separated them from IoT facts in this article.
Misconception #1: IIoT is only for large manufacturing organizations
Fact: IIoT is applicable for organizations of any size.
Many small and medium-sized companies tend to think that IIoT is only for large enterprises. This wrong thinking mostly stems from things like believing small companies may not have enough data, capital and other resources to deploy IIoT. But the reality is that organizations of any size can implement IIoT systems. IoT platforms, such as Azure IoT, make it possible for both small and large-sized companies to build IoT systems without the need for dedicated IT teams or comprehensive IoT infrastructure.
Misconception #2: IIoT can never be secure
Fact: IoT can be safe and secure.
Due to many instances of IIoT device insecurity in the news lately, manufacturing companies think there’s no way to effectively secure the technology. Luckily, many enterprises, security vendors, startups and device manufacturers are already in the business of prioritizing IIoT security. Additionally, security standards bodies are energetically developing IIoT security procedures and frameworks to ascertain IIoT safety. By collaborating and working in close partnership with hardware manufacturers and IIoT solution providers, it is possible to design and create secure IoT devices and ensure secure data transmission between devices. For manufacturing companies, managed security processes and procedures provide value for IIoT manufacturing applications and assist in reducing threats that can pose risk for cloud data migration.
Misconception #3: IIoT is only about device connections
Fact: IoT is all about generating actionable data.
Connecting many devices is the only way to capture the device data. It is true that it involves many device connections in a manufacturing plant and it is the building block or foundation of IIoT. However, the value results from the generated real-time data streams that can enable actionable insights for improved decision making. OEMs can use the actionable insights to set preventative maintenance schedules, predict outcomes, and prevent asset and operation failures to better optimize system uptime.
Misconception #4: Manufacturing industries don’t need IIoT
Fact: IIoT implementation helps gain business insights that increase business productivity and operational efficiency.
It is such a great misapprehension to even begin to think that manufacturing industries don’t require IIoT. Contrariwise, it is this very sector that needs this technology the most. Because many manufacturing procedures and processes are not necessarily on the same premises, connecting them together not only provides actionable data insights for increased efficiency and productivity, but fosters great management levels, resource and equipment tracking, and employee safety.
Misconception #5: IIoT implementations for manufacturing involve huge costs
Fact: IIoT enables companies to build new revenue streams in the long run.
One of the biggest myths a manufacturing company can take hold of is that IIoT is costly. The fact is that it is not when looked at in a clear view and angle. It is true that investments including IIoT will require financial resources, but that is only half the story. The other half-truth is that after IIoT implementation, the actionable insights harvested from IIoT systems ultimately reduce costs for either production or marketing, thereby increasing efficiency and productivity. The result is fewer expenses and more growth, which boosts profits.
Preconfigured IoT systems such as Azure IoT Central and Azure IoT suite and open-source software, enable manufacturing companies to deploy IoT systems easily, without having to use dedicated engineering and IT teams or having to create IoT infrastructures.
Understanding the value of IIoT
Progressively growing by a huge margin, IIoT has great power to transform industrial sectors with regards to both consumers and vendors. However, to tap into this potential capacity, it is critical for businesses to not fall into the trap of having confidence in misconceptions. Instead, companies need to understand the value that data from connected devices can provide through using IIoT systems. When all is done right, manufacturing can realize the tremendous benefits that IIoT delivers. Manufacturing companies are already gaining benefits by implementing IIoT systems using the Microsoft Azure IoT platform. For example, an American manufacturing leader connected more than 3,000 instrument-devices using a secure and scalable industrial IoT system, which analyzes 1 million data records per year for real-time instrument condition monitoring, management and notifications.
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