On our hybrid IT blog, we’ve written about the Internet of Things, or IoT. As a refresher, IoT refers to the smart devices that are becoming increasingly popular and prevalent in Minnesota and across the country. These devices include smart thermostats and security cameras, fitness trackers, speakers, even light bulbs. The IoT is growing, and so is the application of IoT in the energy, transportation and related sectors: the Industrial IoT.
The Industrial IoT, or IIoT, refers to devices, sensors, instrumentation and applications that connect machines and tools in industrial businesses. Common users of IIoT include power utilities, oil and gas companies, transportation and healthcare, among others.
The potential benefits of IIoT are many, but, as discussed by NetworkWorld, challenges and risks are inherent in IIoT adoption and use.
The Benefits of Industrial IoT
The effective use of IIoT systems can lead to significant gains in efficiency, productivity and accuracy. To-the-minute asset tracking, production line instrumentation, predictive maintenance and immediate breach alerts can save companies time and money. IIoT helps businesses act proactively, protecting them against costly downtime from a broken part or misstep in the production network.
The Challenges of Industrial IoT
If your FitBit suddenly stops tracking steps or your Echo stops responding, it could make your life more difficult. If a sensor in a large IIoT network malfunctions, it could disrupt power, production or care for hundreds or thousands of people. Put simply, the stakes are much higher when IIoT is adopted in industries that are essential to daily life. And, because IIoT networks are often large and intricate, one failure can have a ripple effect, and can be difficult to diagnose and fix.
Additional IIoT challenges include security (also a consideration for IoT), lack of standardization, cost, expertise and training, and integration with legacy technology. However, because the time and money savings can be so significant, IIoT adoption will likely continue at a fast pace in the months and years to come.
If you’d like to learn more about how IIoT can support your business, give Vaultas a call today. We offer custom IT services to meet your company’s unique needs.
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