Industrial IoT, though growing in popularity, can be risky for many smaller industrial businesses.
The industrial internet of things is growing in popularity as it is implemented in businesses around the world. IIoT, however, is not right for every emerging company, and includes some noteworthy drawbacks that can affect operations. These can negatively impact productivity and lead to issues when attempting to conduct business digitally.
IIoT is linked to Industry 4.0 and is growing globally. Countries are expected to transition to Industry 4.0 exponentially in the coming years. As IIoT is adopted as a result, questions surrounding the viability of automation, industrial software and digital security are becoming prominent around the world.
What is industrial IoT?
IIoT, as alluded to above, includes aspects of both IoT and Industry 4.0. IoT refers to the connected network of digital assets, composed of the daily technology that has been implemented around the world, that allows people to communicate or perform various tasks. Industry 4.0, alternatively, is the fourth change in the history of global industry. It is exemplified by a transition to digital software and data storage, virtual operations and cybersecurity.
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IIoT, then, is the application of the communication and functional tools of IoT in an industrial setting. This means working toward automated production technologies, infrastructure monitoring from anywhere in the world and smart-sensing software for at-risk businesses. It is often deployed as a solution in complex situations, which can make utilizing it difficult for companies.
Disadvantages of industrial IoT
Privacy and data
Using IIoT creates massive amounts of data. That wouldn’t matter, were it not for the fact that this information needs to be processed quickly in order to be of any use. Especially when applied to digital operations, data processing is key to success. Additionally, all this generated information brings matters of privacy and security into question. IoT itself is a relatively new concept, and protecting the data that it collects will require companies to find different and more efficient ways to sort through digital assets.
At the very least, businesses operating with IIoT technology should be sure to invest in secure cloud computing infrastructure. Without strong digital assets, IIoT implementation will become even more complicated and risky than it already is.
Transitioning to IIoT is costly. Regardless of the need for new systems, as mentioned above, current IoT expenses are already high. This is because IIoT uses sophisticated software to analyze productivity and predict future trends and issues. It is also capable of deploying smart-sensing software for use in technology and agricultural businesses. Combined with the network that IIoT provides to companies, the expense of developing a digital strategy can be hefty.
It is also worth noting that IIoT can lose money. If not being operated correctly, digital assets and production can be affected. This will negatively impact a company’s short-term and long-term effectiveness.
Communication, connection and collaboration between devices and digital platforms is an important part of IIoT. While it is also a big part of cloud computing, it isn’t quite so risky as it is with IIoT. If industrial systems fail, companies lose the ability to operate on a massive level. Production, maintenance and many other aspects of business become incredibly difficult to pursue. This is important to keep in mind for companies that rely heavily on communication and remote operations.
Though not necessarily a fault of IIoT itself, the situations that currently call for industrial strategies are complicated and therefore present their own problems. The sensors, automation tools and remote monitoring found in IIoT lend themselves well to complex environments. From agricultural systems to robotics, the tools of IoT can be very helpful and extremely difficult to operate. The issue with this is similar to the problems that could come from communication outages. It can be time consuming and difficult to set up IIoT tools and even more time consuming to repair them.
All of these issues can help identify who the users of IIoT are. Often, those who see the benefits are industry leaders who can afford to develop the infrastructure and deal with issues that stem from such a strategy. Smaller companies, however, even if they are still massively profitable, may not benefit from IIoT in the same ways.
While there are negatives to consider when it comes to IIoT, others will not be put off by such matters. If you’re working toward implementing IIoT within your enterprise, selecting IIoT software is critical. There are hundreds of IIoT platforms and each one is slightly different from the next, so how do you choose? This article offers some advice on how to pick the right IIoT software.