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Iot and IIoT has made it a long way in the past several years. In fact, according to Forbes, trillions of dollars are at stake as the Industrial Internet of Things rolls out over the next decade. But, has the multi-tillion dollar trend lived up to the hype?

It could be many more years until certain industries reach the levels described in the hype.  Here’s the industries you should keep your eye on when it comes to IIoT technology.

The Internet of Things and the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT and IIoT, respectfully), widely encompasses many concepts, technologies, and products, but can generally be described as:

  • A system that contains wired or wirelessly connected components which relay data that can be analyzed or used to control an output of the system
  • A network that allows for automated information exchange between two devices
  • A vision where any and all systems are connected to gather masses of data that will lead to overall improved performance, insights, and control

As of 2018, we most commonly see IoT being used for location tracking, remote monitoring, and preventative maintenance.  Yet, for IIoT the most common application is preventative maintenance. Many of these IIoT systems report back to a control interface, and are not completely automated control loops that are self-evaluating or self-improving.

 

There are some industries in particular that stand out when looking at the IIoT.  We looked at trends that will progress through the end of 2018 into 2019, and asked the following questions.

  1. What industries will be most affected by IoT solutions?

According to BI Intelligence, the ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Transportation and Warehousing’ industries have received the highest amount of investment in IoT to date.  These investments, totaling $230B between the two industries over the past few years, will continue to drive impressive progress in the development of IoT solutions. 

  1. Who will be the key players in IIoT Solutions in 2019?

We are currently witnessing a race to capture the IIoT market.  AT&T is collaborating with Honeywell, Verizon offers a machine-to-machine (M2M) management platform called ThingSpace, and startups like Uptake Technologies are raising absurd amounts of capital to compete with existing analytics giants. Uptake alone has raised $218M since 2015, and specializes in analytics of complex data sets. 

Nearly all of the corporate giants you would expect to have a stake in the race are putting serious resources behind their efforts.  GE is offering Predix, and end-to-end Industrial IoT Platform, and has incorporated capabilities like Predix Edge to allow for edge computing within the platform.  Siemens offers their own Industrial IoT platform called MindSphere, and Bosch is also getting in on the action now offering their IoT Suite publicly available on AWS Marketplace. Further, Schneider Electric developed WonderWare and SAP offers Hana.

We expect that through 2019 we will see more partnerships develop, offering cross compatibility between the many platforms which are available today.

  1. What further developments in IIoT can we expect in the near future?

Security will continue to be a major focus for all providers and users of the IIoT.   In a recent publication Steve Watson, CEO of VTO Labs, explains “security and specifically the ability to detect compromised nodes, together with collecting and preserving evidences of an attack or malicious activities emerge as a priority in successful deployment of IoT networks.” This ability to detect and preserve evidence of a cyber-attack will not only need to occur through edge computing, but it will also need to be maintain its integrity with interoperability of different systems that are linked together.

Given the amount of investment we are seeing in the ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Transportation and Warehousing’ industries we expect to see many breakthroughs in both cyber security for the IIoT and interoperability between the many IIoT platforms. Looking into 2019 we can expect to see more partnerships between major sensor providers and network providers, such as the AT&T Honeywell collaboration we saw in 2018. With more interoperability and collaboration, 2019 may be the year that we see the major breakthroughs in IIoT we’ve been expecting.

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The rise of IoT is good because it has enabled humans to gather, process and understand vast sums of data. This understanding helps us observe the nature of Human existence in real time, both collectively and individually.

Supply chain management is an integral business process. It affects people in every industry from farmers in Food Supply Chain to manufacturers in Industrial Supply Chain. We are going to observe the up and coming technologies and how they are revolutionizing this fundamental business process.

How is IoT being used in today’s World?

The Understanding of Mass Human behavior at an individual level has enabled services and technologies to exist that cater to personalized needs.It is introducing a new genre of innovation in Mobile App Development.

Companies use this data to develop applications that can efficiently increase revenue by cutting liability costs because of Big Data Analytics and IoT prompting all investments.

Take for example the efficiency with which you can use GPS trackers and environment sensors to keep track of your inventory and the storing conditions of your goods. Asset Tracking has created transparency in the supply chain, providing manufacturers with scope for business customization.

The kind of granular data that can and is being generated using RFID tags and global SIMs can create efficient staffing practices. Also, addressing the availability of complementary resources at the right place and right time.

There is Beacon technology, which is Low Energy Bluetooth devices (BLE), capable of transmitting information over short distances. Bluetooth SIG (Bluetooth Special Interest Group) is pushing this wireless personal area network as a factory floor network.

BLE is being used to create an Internet of Things solution, for instance, take IoT Development companies that created apps that help in Airport Baggage Management all by using these BLE devices or Beacons.

Another great example can be that of Amazon Go. It uses computer vision, machine learning and AI to create a shopping experience where you can just walk in, pick up what you want and walk out.

You check into the store with your mobile Phone and through a technology they have developed called “Just Walk Out” you can shop and just leave. It is one of the best examples of an Internet of Things Company, using a variety of sensors and computer vision tracking working together over a secured shared network.  

How is IoT affecting the Supply Chain Processes (SCP)?

Gartner the leading research and advisory organization, recently released a study, showing a thirty-fold increase in Internet-connected physical devices by 2020. 

International Data Corporation (IDC) reports: Largest IoT segments in 2017: manufacturing operations: $105B

Just imagine the kind of data that will be generated when we could observe the real-time shopping habits of individuals, their waiting time in each aisle, their preference. And the rate at which products and services are sought will see an unprecedented rise.

We will be able to automate a system that will conduct targeted marketing and efficient manufacturing. Research shows three-quarters of all retail and manufacturing ventures beginning to transform their supply chain processes.

IoT is enabling a more bidirectional flow of communication. Now engineers can run efficient diagnostics using the most recent captured data enabling them to conduct remote repair, increasing machine uptime and better customer service.

Unlike previously available passive sensors, this generation of sensors can keep track of the state of products in shipment, such as external surrounding and execute actions. Also, it can monitor utilization of Machine and update cloud platforms that can, in turn, optimize performance and workflow.

IoT is playing an integral role in increasing the scope of digitizing the Supply Chain in the Agro-Industry. Modern farmers are now incorporating Cloud Platforms to keep track of their farm produce and fine-tuning storage conditions.

A much more inter communicative channel is being formed between the different talking heads of the Supply Chain. And the funny thing is IoT devices are guiding how the products reach the market and talking has nothing to do with it.

Industries are trying to create the process more transparent for the consumers, certifying quality checks and an invasive feedback process.

Fleet Management for industries that comprise of companies like FedEx and DHL. Driver headcount, maintenance, and fuel consumption can all be brought down using IoT cloud Platforms. These platforms take in enormous amounts of data about diverse variables like traffic models, weather reports etc. and chart out efficient routes and delivery itineraries.

Having a connecting channel among all the components of the supply chain enables vendors to form better relations amongst themselves and with the customers. This is done by linking the shipping companies to the on-ground delivery services to the shopkeeper, all in real time.

We generate a truly end to end offering by providing vendors with domain expertise in IP connectivity, cloud service, security, hardware, and positioning.

With the help of IoT, we can accurately forecast inventories; keep track of the expiry dates of products and restocking schedules. It can also be used for cutting on Downtime with smart sensors, which are assessing maintenance requirements around the clock, propagating positive revenue generation.

Fitting the factory floors and machinery with sensors helps the system to tail workflow efficiency and logistics short-comings and respective requirements.

The Industrial Internet of Things revolution is pushing entire businesses towards an approach of local connectivity. Many businesses are adopting tools like AT&T’s Low-Power Wide-Area Technology, which has smaller modules with extended battery life and capable connectivity even in underground environments.

This has also created a demand for developers who excel in creating IoT Applications. And lately, it seems IoT technology and software framework has become essential to the 21st-century consumer market at par with Big Data Analytics and Management.

IoT compatibility is the need of the hour for businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve.One should investigate functional ways to integrate IoT technology and Applications into their Business Back-End and generate new streams of revenue.

Also, existing Businesses need to acknowledge the potential of IoT to redesign existing SCP. Building strong bridges to support the convergence of physical and digital supply chain.

In today’s market, SCP isn’t just for tracking your product. It’s an opportunity to gain an edge over your competitors and even establish your own brand.

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