What is the ongoing attraction of the Industrial IoT? Why does it get so much press these days? Moving past the glitz and hype, beyond the desire to follow the “next big thing”, corporate executives from IBM to GE have recognized that there are solid benefits. And many of these benefits boil down to this: cost savings.
“Leading thinkers have looked at cost savings available in terms of productivity, new business models and environmental benefits compared to the cost of implementing these systems and they’ve determined that this is the direction they want to go,” said Steve Jennis, Senior Vice President for Corporate Development at PrismTech in a speech at Smart Industry 2015 in Chicago last October.
Jennis points out that the steady reduction in costs for hardware and data connectivity infrastructure are making the Industrial IoT possible, and increasingly accessible for more and more companies. Multi-million dollar SCADA systems, once available only to governments and large corporations, are giving way to thousand-dollar remote monitoring and supervisory control systems that can be implemented by small and medium-sized companies. And the reach of these systems goes far beyond the plant floor. “We can connect the enterprise end-to-end for a reasonable cost for the first time ever,” Jennis says. “That’s what’s making the difference.”
That being the case, Jennis does see challenges. There are cultural challenges of merging the IT (information technology) culture of generalized, people-focused applications with OT (operations technology) requirements for specialized, real-time, mission-critical systems. And there are technical challenges of integrating data among machines and systems from different epocs, vendors, and locations, often using a variety of protocols and engineering units.
“From a technology standpoint,” recommends Jennis, “systems must be adopted that enable data connectivity on demand in real time across different environments to provide a global data space that can be utilized to give people what they need to do their job.”
At Skkynet we understand these challenges, and develop products like SkkyHub, DataHub, and the ETK to meet them. At a cost far below a commercial SCADA system, and with very short implementation times, Skkynet users leverage the benefits of real-time cloud computing and off-the-shelf software to get up and running on the Industrial IoT, and start cutting their costs right away.