Industrial Internet of Things
Internet of Things is the next big leap that is revolutionizing the industry. IIoT alone is projected to contribute around 14 trillion USD to the global economy over the next five years.  With such a humongous business potential, it is evident that there is fierce competition among companies to hone relevant skill set by developing new solutions and services to maximize their business gains.

As the industry prepares for IoT, it has started appreciating the merits of connectivity. When introduced as a concept, company applications were either not connected, or were hard-wired, at best. Over the last few years, the market is witnessing increasing demand from end users for wireless connectivity in devices and solutions.

A typical IIoT implementation can be divided into several stages:

  1. Business Case: Companies arrive at a problem statement in their current scenario and derive an annual loss value for their problem that can be mitigated through IIoT.
  2. POC stage: Companies build a Proof of Concept to understand how IIoT can mitigate their burning issue. They also come across challenges/ roadblocks during IIoT implementation. The idea is to fail fast to learn fast.
  3. Implementation Stage: Once they understand the use-case, benefits, challenges and scope of IIoT, companies implement the POC in one facility.
  4. Scaling: Once the implementation is successful with one facility, the same is scaled up to other facilities across the organization.
  5. Reaping benefits: Companies start making gains from IIoT enablement. However, maximum benefit can be achieved only through technology integration with other players in value chain.

Rise of IoT and IIoT
There has been an eminent pull from the market for IoT connectivity in devices because of added flexibility and controllability of devices from an end user perspective. Consumers want real-time control in their devices that improves user experience and efficacy of processes.

IoT typically involves interactions among either intelligent devices or not so intelligent devices with a central intelligent device. Home and Building automation minimizes inefficiencies in energy consumption. M2M communications allow machines to interact, thus enabling Real-Time Asset Tracking & Performance Management. V2X communication makes driving much safer through interactions between vehicle-to-anything. Consumer IoT allows us to control our home fixtures.

Industrial IoT enables data exchange between machines on factory floors or between machines and simpler devices such as sensors and actuators. Thus, better efficiency and process effectiveness is achieved by reduction in downtimes, increase in machine utilization and DRIFT (Doing things right the first time) through predictive analytics based maintenance, Fleet management, etc. Distributed sensors collect, aggregate and analyze tons of data and enable smarter decision making on real-time, thus resulting in increased productivity for factory floors, shipping and transportation sectors, etc.

Embedded Products Revolutionizing IIOT advancements
With the steep rise in IoT has emerged the need for faster, smarter and smaller processors, efficient power management, and secured wireless communication. The use of compact and efficient sensors in embedded devices has resulted in the emergence of smarter, portable, and fully automated products with compact form factor of devices, thanks to advancements in embedded technology.

IoT calls for connectivity between devices or ‘Things’. Embedded systems form the core technology for enablement of interactions between ‘Things’. With abrupt rise in demand for IoT, embedded product development is getting even more prevalent.

Embedded systems ensure seamless exchange of data among devices that were not even connected before, thus revolutionizing businesses and carving new business models and revenue streams such as data subscription business model—an Asset light strategy for customer companies. The benefits can be realized in terms of efficiency and effectiveness of solutions, end-user experience, speed of information exchange, etc.

Focus areas in Embedded Product development
Cybersecurity: Recent threats from cyber-attacks across the globe has resulted in a demand for added security. This would be even more relevant in the era of IIoT when the connectivity among systems would be even more. IoT security market is expected to grow from $7 billion in 2015 to $29 billion in 2029. Embedded system development companies have to build capabilities to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities, considering the increased priority in security features by global companies.

Technical competencies: Development of end to end embedded system SW require integration and data ingestion from numerous sensors, building connectivity interfaces with various communication protocols across multiple technology layers, computing data analytics and representing relevant insights on real-time. The skillset required in embedded system vary considerably with each market.

Skilled resources: Embedded systems require highly skilled resources with domain expertise across varied segments. The industry has to cope with a constant demand-supply gap for engineers with embedded skills because of the variety of protocols practiced in each sector. Moreover, there is a constant need for skill upgradation to remain relevant, given the pace at which emerging technologies replace the incumbent ones. These focus areas would help shape up IoT market in its path towards maturity.

Author: Deb Jyoti Ghosh, Assistant Manager-Portfolio, Product Engineering Services

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