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Why The Industrial IoT Thrives When It’s Tied to Data

The IIoT Is Shaping the World of Tomorrow & Companies Need To Keep Up

tied to data

Contrary to widespread belief, the modern industrial market didn’t simply arise from nothing but the willpower of some maverick geniuses (Thomas Lantzsch, Rick Bullotta, Maciej Kranz, Vernon Turner, Jason Shepard, Eric Goodness and Thomas Siebel to name but a few). Sure, it’s true that spaces like the Industry 4.o arena, Connected Utilities, the transportation field and precision agricultural industry all partially owe their existence to driven, motivated business leaders. In the grand scheme of things, however, people may not be quite as integral to market progress as we’d like to assume.

The world hasn’t quite reached the stage where people can sit back and let the machines do all the work while they collect universal basic income checks. At the same time, it’s data, not fallible human decision-making, that truly drives forward development. Just as the Industrial Revolution would never have taken place without steam-powered boilers keeping the gears spinning faster than manual labor ever could, today’s Digital Revolution depends on information systems that are rapidly outpacing our own relatively slow evolution.

The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, is what’s shaping the world of tomorrow. Companies that would prefer not to get lost in the annals of history should probably try to keep up.

The Internet of Things as a Force for Industrial Advancement

Data has always been a potential bottleneck for business. Some managers spend hours each day hunting for performance information, and many entrepreneurs obsessively work to quantify crucial business processes. Depending on how well they’re implemented and maintained, IT systems can be tools for positive change or massive hindrances.

Easing Routine Tasks

Nowhere is this dichotomy more relevant than in the industrial realm, but the IoT is pushing the trend towards a more lucrative equilibrium. For instance, in fields like natural resource exploitation and heavy manufacturing, IoT-connected devices monitor remote facilities and processes with a greater degree of safety and dependability.

When supervisors can observe plant happenings without having to send workers out into the field, they maintain a greater awareness of the critical processes underlying essential business activities. They also generate more reliable information that’s less likely to succumb to human errors. For instance, an IoT device won’t misread a fuel line pressure gauge in poor visibility conditions or sustain an occupational injury after trying to access a meter in an awkward location.

Making Sense of Inharmonious Data

Modern sensor technology comes in a bewildering breadth of forms that have unique characteristics. For instance, a spectral analyzer that detects the presence of a flammable or hazardous gas might produce an entirely different sort of electrical output than a vibration sensor that monitors a nearby pump’s operating performance. Because IoT devices and architectures use standardized network communication protocols and models, however, industrial players can unify these divergent data sources under a common umbrella.

Such harmonization makes it possible to use equipment from a broader range of third-party hardware providers without needing to undertake massive re-engineering projects. These benefits are particularly useful for companies that don’t want to hamper critical systems with the dreaded prospect of vendor lock-in.

Facilitating Collaboration and Compliance

Similar concepts apply to fields where companies partner with a range of diverse stakeholders to accomplish multiparty goals. Traditionally, such enterprises were contingent upon dedicated third-party monitoring entities that would aggregate data from different partners to track performance. While practices like data virtualization, warehousing and sanitization certainly made such work easier, the looming specters of other problems were never far behind. From overcoming miscommunications and hacks to correcting for basic latency, industrial enterprises had their work cut out for them. When it came to maintaining compliance, these challenges could spell the end of otherwise-promising endeavors.

New Heights of Governance Efficacy

The advent of the Internet of Things heralded a novel alternative. Instead of depending on trust to ensure that process execution took place as agreed and hoping for the best, firms could suddenly use IoT platforms to cut out the intermediaries. By getting their data straight from the source using smart objects, they gained the power to institute less error-prone governance practices. For entities whose very livelihoods depend on sticking to strict, labyrinthine regulations, the surety of having first-hand information is an undeniable boon.

Naturally, savvy leaders are applying these same ideas in their own organizations. Robust IoT platforms that make it easier to view data as it’s produced ensure that the decisions based on such information accurately reflect evolving needs. Simultaneously, multibusiness processes are growing more equitable because no single party controls the feedback loop. By pushing industrial partnerships towards enhanced parity, IoT systems are helping industries diversify and welcome new participants. As any entrepreneur worth their salt will readily attest to, leveling the playing field is never a bad idea.

Laying the Groundwork for Service Improvement

The IoT’s industrial benefits aren’t solely internal, yet its outward advantages often defy expectation. For instance, it’s no big leap to predict that companies might improve their operating efficiency and win more customers by enhancing their process monitoring practices. What many observers overlook, however, is that the information generated by IoT platforms, sensors and devices often has a direct, quantifiable positive impact on end-user satisfaction.

Take smart cities, for instance. As of 2017, some 60 percent of all IoT devices in these urban areas were found in transportation systems and commercial buildings. By letting fleet managers do things like monitor fueling and breakdowns, IoT platforms make it possible to minimize stoppages due to unexpected events. Transit overseers can also analyze routing information and ridership to serve commuters better, respond to big influxes of tourists and help guide traffic safely during disaster events.

When organizations pay closer attention to real-time process indicators, they make fewer mistakes, and their users are more likely to continue patronizing them. Adaptable IoT platforms that leverage connections with diverse infrastructure partners facilitate customized solutions that solve many of the problems inherent to existing transit networks, public facilities and business models. After all, there’s little sense in continuing to do something just because that’s the way things have always been done, especially when it’s possible to improve the norm with enhanced feedback.

Forecasting the Fate of Industrial Markets

The IoT is still far from running entire industries by itself or being able to tell the future. As in many fields, however, nascent developments offer some fairly good clues as to where things might be heading.

Development and Deployment Will Quicken Their Pace

Modern IoT platforms are resilient, expansive and accommodating of change. One of their defining features is the fact that they integrate extremely well with open APIs, or application programming interfaces, that make it simple for users to build custom systems and services using a variety of tools. Ecosystems like the Davra IoT platform make it possible to go from a concept to a practical solution in as little as five weeks, so companies are constantly exploring new use cases and ideas.

The IoT Will Propagate Itself

IoT solutions are already redefining how companies interact with each other in the business-to-business domain. Enterprises that specialize in creating data systems and gateways are using platforms like Davra to portray their offerings in a new light.

Today’s IoT architectures leverage uniform middleware and diverse partner hardware to help industry leaders drum up interest from business clients that never previously considered the potential of bespoke integrations. Soon, innovation-driven corporations and startups will no longer need to jump over massive hurdles to prove that their new ideas are investment-worthy. IoT systems that work flawlessly even after being tweaked and augmented are making it far easier to explore ill-defined objectives, and their reputation is bound to increase adoption of its own accord.

Infrastructures Will Grow Stronger

One of the most exciting prospects is how the IoT could help existing networks and partnerships gain stability. Since these platforms have the power to deliver multiple solutions under a uniform umbrella, they can fortify the process links that industrial players already depend on: Companies that engage in codependent activities no longer have to maintain competing strategies for each, so they can concentrate on honing the overall whole.

Looking Ahead

Resource scarcity, economic constraints, human errors and other challenges aren’t going anywhere. With the IoT, however, organizations, enterprises and municipalities can respond more readily by staying abreast of the information that keeps them agile. Although the industrial and commercial landscapes of decades from now are almost guaranteed to defy expectations, comprehensive IoT platforms like Davra remain on track to ensure the surprises will be positive. To learn more about preparing your business or organization for the data-powered future, request a demo today.


Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO

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