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IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is fairly a new concept for industries and it is presenting a huge opportunity in helping enterprises to operate more safely and productively while improving efficiency and reducing costs.
Forbes Insights recently surveyed more than 500 executives and, when asked about their greatest challenge in building out their IoT capabilities, 29% said it was the quality of IoT technology. This isn’t surprising. In some cases, IoT platforms must support thousands of vendors, dozens of standards, and be able to scale to millions of devices, together sending and receiving billions of messages.
Still, many companies facing problems with the adoption of industrial IoT without knowing where to start and which automated processes will contribute to the highest increase in effectiveness. And each IoT story varies.
"Fueled by the rapid rise of smart technologies, manufacturers are bringing together IIoT, connected machines, robots, sensors, smart devices, generalized compute technologies, and a steady stream of real-time data analytics to automate many of the mundane—and not so mundane—tasks of the factory and the larger manufacturing system," writes Dr. Irene Petrick, director of industrial innovation at Intel’s Internet-of-Things Group, and Dr. Faith McCreary, principal engineer and researcher.
Along with the rapid growth expected from IIoT, needs to address potential challenges and the security issues of the IIoT implementation.
Security challenges for IIoT technologies are the biggest concern as the breaches affect both individuals and organization vulnerable to financial and operational damage. As industrial companies using a variety of IIoT solutions, they are open to security concerns, lack of visibility, hack vulnerability, risks associated with IT/OT convergence and insider threats. If security capability is considered in the selection criteria then the main challenge is the lack of comprehensive cybersecurity solutions. Implementing IIoT technology will be resisted hype until it has a solid security feature. This is why operational technology companies are so cautious with IIoT technology.
The critical IIoT-implementation challenges are rooted in the lack of connectivity. IIoT machine management is a critical question and it's vital to monitor machines in real time as well as ensure those machines are performing at an optimal level to improve production. Increased visibility and better insights on the health of the machine is also critical in order to detect anomalies and fix issues before they occur. IIoT machines are connected to different components and there is often trouble in synchronizing as a result of internet outages, power blackouts, manual/technical errors. This will result in the removal of connected devices from the network, which affects the entire production process and can cost millions in damages. IIoT will add additional challenges as you scale it globally.
Another trickiest challenge faced by the IIoT implementation is the integration of the information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). And it is important to securely integrate the two without data loss or the introduction of vulnerability. This makes adopting IIoT technology financially impossible and logistically impractical for many operational businesses. Mostly IoT devices are commonly developed as independent solutions and in best-case scenarios, they are injected into the manufacturing process to become a part of the system. However, integration between the information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) lacks effective connectivity and synchronization. Therefore, it needs to replace either the entirety of their equipment or rely on faulty connectivity.
Is it possible to overcome these IIoT implementation challenges? is still a question in the industry.
IIoT challenges facing industrial companies today may seem overwhelming. But overcoming these challenges offers game-changing business opportunities to improve productivity and growth for those companies. And most of the IIoT implementation challenges can be resolved with monetary investment and a commitment to develop industry infrastructure and services aimed at comprehensive implementation. Supporting infrastructure components alongside the IoT technology is needed in order to speed up the IIoT revolution. Companies those who embrace a systematic approach of applying contemporary intelligent data management and analytics systems will get more value with IIoT.