IoT Curator – Feb 2019
Welcome back IoT Fans. This month we bring you 4 interesting articles that speak about how IoT User Experience, what approaches might be good for your IoT projects and how providers are creating value through IoT. We believe that these articles should be a good mix for your quick IoT knowledge. Let us know what you think.
IoT meets User Experience – Challenges and Opportunities
When we talk about the IoT (Internet of Things), we talk a lot about growth, growth, growth. That’s because no matter how much we all want to avoid hype, there are just so many areas of opportunity for the IoT, and it’s hard not to talk about the possibilities.
A quick Google search on the IoT will tell you things like: We can expect 12.86 billion IoT sensors and devices to be in use by 2020 in the consumer sector alone, and vertical-specific sensors and devices will exceed 3 billion by 2020.
And yes, some of it is hype, even though the opportunity is clearly there, and I believe wholeheartedly in the value the IoT can help businesses achieve. For this column, I just might have to play devil’s advocate a bit. Let’s look at people’s confidence in the IoT; maybe it’s not as bulletproof as we think, and this could be a roadblock to unhindered IoT growth. What can we do to increase confidence in the IoT? This will be my first topic today.
Key Questions to Make Smart Manufacturing Work
What are some key questions to ask now? This is part of what we are learning in MESA’s Smart Manufacturing Community. As ever, the right questions span many topics. Here are a few examples of what we’ve learned to ask.
One of the top stumbling blocks for many companies has been ensuring that smart manufacturing projects truly foster business success. Key questions include:
- How do we break down functional silos to ensure IT and OT are working together effectively?
- What shift could we make to enable greater alignment between our organization and our customers? Our suppliers? Our partners?
- Can this help us be a disruptor rather than being disrupted?
- How can we improve the overall process flows and reliability?
- What are the process barriers to information flows that create a digital thread?
Asking questions, answering them and being guided to the next set of questions is very smart. It’s the right foundation for smart manufacturing.
What are the next steps as we transition to Industry 4.0?
According to Accenture, the industrial internet of things could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030. There is a disconnect, however, between the availability of these technologies and capitalizing on their full potential by applying them effectively within organizations. For many executives within the manufacturing industry, IoT, smart factories and intelligence in the cloud are little more than fancy buzzwords proclaiming to one day transform the way your industry will work.
While Industry 4.0 is the grand IIoT nirvana manufacturers dream about reaching, many find themselves stuck within the limitations of OPC/SCADA technologies. OPC Classic presented quite a few limitations, including being exclusive to the Microsoft Windows platform, being notoriously unfriendly to modern enterprise security architectures, offering limited scalability and being plagued by frequent configuration issues. On the other hand, OPC Unified Architecture (UA) — a modern standardized communication protocol that enables secure industrial IoT and Industry 4.0 technologies — solve all those problems.
On-Premises vs Cloud – What are the differences?
When selecting a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, one of the most critical factors in your decision will be whether you choose to deploy it on-premise or in the cloud. Cloud-based ERP systems are more common than ever before. Today, nearly every ERP vendor offers some form of cloud deployment option, and some have ditched their on-premise offerings altogether. But there are still several reasons why a small or midsize business might choose a traditional on-premise system, which, until recently, was the norm in the ERP space. Which one is right for your organization? Well, only you can make that decision, but this rundown on the pros and cons of each should make it easier. By knowing the advantages and disadvantages of each type of ERP system, business owners can determine the best fit for their SMB, allowing for a more informed allocation of resources and a more efficient ERP workflow.
Today’s networks, software, and devices allow for very flexible architectures. Data, analytics, and visualization can be stored locally and remotely. Multiple plants can be securely connected, and data aggregated. You know you can reduce energy, waste, and save time. Just think about what you could do if you could collect and analyze data as well as command and control the plants. You know that if you do not take this step, you are going to be left behind and that could be at your own peril.
Manufacturers should consider the hybrid model to get the best of both worlds by using cloud and on-premises models. This provides the flexibility and security that manufacturers need to implement their digital transformation. Every plant is different, so you need to find the right balance of local and cloud platforms. When you are choosing a platform to collect and visualize data, make sure the system has the flexibility to meet your particular requirements.