Will IIoT take us to the cloud or closer to the edge?
The Internet of Things (IoT) has well and truly passed the hype cycle and can now be considered a phenomenon officially here to stay.
This is very apparent in the industrial automation sector, where industrial IoT (IIoT) has really taken shape, not only optimizing productivity and efficiency but also allowing for greater visibility and control in a way never thought possible. The biggest difference between IoT and IIoT is that while IoT impacts our daily lives by providing a greater level of convenience and security, IIoT leaves more at stake for industries running critical operations.
The emergence and strong focus on IIoT has raised several critical questions for people working in the manufacturing sector to answer including; are cloud data centers sufficiently equipped to deal with the volume and speed of the data generated in large production facilities?To answer that question, we must first understand the reasons for implementing IIoT in the manufacturing sector in the first place. The manufacturing industry is a sector driven by competition. The factories that increase productivity and improve quality are the ones that will gain an immediate competitive edge. Producing products faster, cheaper, yet maintaining a consistent quality is a constant challenge and focus area and this is where IIoT comes into play.
By having a constant stream of real-time data on machine performance, tracking and traceability of products along the line, operators have full visibility of their production line performance.
Decisions can then be made to optimize plant production or to prevent costly line stoppages. In fact, in a recent ARC Advisory Report, Is IIoT living on the edge in industrial environments?, 91% of the respondents surveyed agreed that having better systems and connectivity at the edge will enable real-time business decisions.
Here are three key areas that every professional involved in an IIoT roll-out should consider before deciding on either a cloud or an edge data center IIoT implementation:
- How critical is your process?
- How long do you need to store that data?
- How much intellectual property are you willing to share?