What to Expect from the Industrial Internet of Things This Year

Industrial Internet of ThingsWe’re solidly at the end of the 2017 prediction season. We’ve combed through all kinds of forecasts made about where the Industrial Internet of Things is headed this year. Here are the ones we think will most affect the engineering sector.

The IIoT will get more power

As Brian Buntz notes in his 2017 prediction article for the Internet of Things Institute, the IIoT currently uses machines “that are frankly fairly dumb.” On top of that, while many industrial machines are IIoT-enabled, they aren’t actually hooked up.

This year, we’ll see more machines become connected and more computing power dedicated to their applications.

The data collected will become more meaningful

More connected machines means more data. And that opens up the possibility for more meaningful data. This year, we expect companies to shift their focus from data collection to data analysis, so they can refine the information and turn it into actionable knowledge to move their operations forward.

First movers will gain a competitive advantage

Until recently, many IIoT implementations could be more accurately described as pilot programs as opposed to full-scale rollouts. Companies wanted to dip their toes in the water and see what it felt like before making any commitments.

Now that the results are in and by and large the experiments yielded positive results, many companies are looking at ways to use the IIoT to transform their processes on a larger scale.

Organizations that jump on this bandwagon early will realize a significant competitive advantage, for example, through shorter delivery times. To see some specific examples, read this great article over at Engineering & Technology.

People will become an even more important resource

Automation and new technologies are, no doubt, creating a world where fewer people are required to perform certain jobs. This is especially true in industries like manufacturing.

However, that doesn’t mean human talent becomes less important. In fact, in many ways it becomes more important because the jobs that need to be filled require employees with specific, highly technical skills.

This year and beyond, we expect to see demand increase for engineers as well as for other employees who are trained to work with IIoT-connected systems and the data they produce.

Integrated software will be key to realizing all of the benefits

The biggest benefits of the IIoT don’t come from devices simply sending data to same server or to the cloud. They come from the devices communicating with one another and with other systems. For example, predictive maintenance is one of the top advantages of IIoT implementation in manufacturing.

Having a software system capable of integrating data from many sources over the lifetime of a project will be key for companies seeking to realize the true benefits of our new connected world.

What do you think about these five predictions? What do you expect to see from the IIoT this year? Let us know in the comments!

Explore our recent Infopaper to learn more about how the Engineering Base can help you turn IIoT data into actionable knowledge.

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