Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Connecting on IoT and Industrial Automation

Posted by Candace Letizia

On December 15, Kepware hosted an IoT-themed Tweet Chat. During the one-hour event, R&D Lead Aron Semle, Product Manager Erik Dellinger, and a team of Kepware employees joined IoT Alliance members, industry affiliates, and the global Twitter community to discuss the Internet of Things and Industrial Automation. We received so many thoughtful responses, comments, and conversations that we'd like to share them with you here.

Question One: What do you see as the biggest benefit to implementing an IoT solution?

Most participants agreed that preventative maintenance (via real-time machine monitoring) is one of the biggest benefits offered by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Remote data access and the potential for IIoT technology to democratize competitive advantage among smaller companies/start-ups were also popular responses.

 #KepwareIoT Tweet Chat Image 1

Question Two: What obstacles do you face in adopting Industrial IoT solutions?

Participants identified two major types of obstacles: technological and cultural. Technological challenges include security and interoperability among equipment with legacy systems; cultural challenges focus on the gap between Operations Technology (OT) and Information Technology (IT)—highlighting the need for companies and employees to adapt to newer business models.

 KepwareIoT Tweet Chat Image 2

Question Three: How many protocols do you have on your industrial network? What’s the ideal number, and why?

Most participants agreed that one protocol would be easiest, but that multiple are necessary. Infrastructures are hetergenous, so there isn't one protocol that fits all.

 iot-tweet-chat-q3.jpg

Question Four: Do you think the Industrial Automation Industry will ever embrace the Cloud?

Participants agreed that the Industrial Automation Industry will adopt Cloud technologies to enable faster innovation.

 KepwareIoT Tweet Chat Image 4

Question Five: Is Industrial IoT adoption bottom-up or top-down?

This question invoked interesting responses from participants, who provided reasons for bottom-up, top-down, and integrated adoption strategies. In all, there seemed to be agreement that proper support for adoption was necessary for success—regardless of the approach taken. 

 KepwareIoT Tweet Chat Image 5

Question Six: What is the biggest disruption that IoT is introducing in the Industrial Automation market?

This question prompted several great responses. Participants agreed that the IoT will challenge the business models of both the tech-serving industry and the end users of the technologyand that IoT will enable smaller companies to compete with larger companies in services where they had previously been unable.

 iot-tweet-chat-q6.jpg

What's Next?

To read the Tweet Chat in its entirety—and locate other IoT resourcessearch #KepwareIoT on Twitter. To learn more about the industrial IoT's history and operational improvements it will enable in automation and control systems, download Tony Paine's eBook. To continue the conversation, tweet @Kepware or leave a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Download the Industrial IoT and Communications at the Edge eBook