Industrial IoT, Big Data & M2M Summit―Takeaways

Last week several of us here at Skkynet had the pleasure to attend and present a case study at the Industrial IoT, Big Data & M2M Summit in Toronto.  IoT specialists representing a wide range of industries, from mining, manufacturing, and energy to telecom and software gathered to share insights and learn from collective experience how to get the most out of Industrial IoT.

Challenges to IoT adoption was a key topic of discussion.  There was considerable agreement among summit participants that one of the primary challenges is not technical, but cultural.  Switching from software ownership to data as a service requires a new mind-set, which not everyone is willing to adopt.  Speaker after speaker underlined the need to communicate value and get buy-in from all concerned parties. You should start with a small pilot project, with minimal investment, and demonstrate ROI.  Other challenges discussed included incompatible protocols and security risks.

Summit Theme: Partnerships

A common theme that prevailed in presentations and comments throughout the summit was that the IoT casts such a wide net that nobody can do all of it well.  We need to work together.

“IoT is all around partnerships,” said Christopher Beridge, Director of Business Development – IoT and Business Solutions at Bell Mobility.

“A lot of people have a part to play when you are talking IoT,” according to Matthew Wells, Senior Product General Manager at GE Digital.

“Smartness depends on how interconnected you are,” commented Steven Liang, Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, and conference chair.

Above all, there was agreement that the IoT is here to stay. “Our focus is to make things more efficient, reliable, affordable, and convenient, and the IoT is a way to do it,” said Michael Della Fortune, Chief Executive Officer of Nexeya Canada.  “It powers and upholds the 4 Vs—Variety, Volume, Velocity, and Veracity—of Big Data.”

Perhaps Timon LeDain, Director, Internet of Things at Macadamian summed it up best when he said, “IoT will be done by you, or done to you.”