“What seems like a crazy idea today eventually grows. It’s a ‘with hindsight’ thing. One day, someone will turn around and say, ‘That was genius’.”– Natalie Massenet
Although many people will say “we have had devices connected in the field for years”, the IIoT/IoT growth predicted by industry analysts wasn’t really about them. In many ways, these people/companies were visionaries and ahead of their time – and they could justify the cost of the equipment at the costs of the last decade. The newest trends are more a result in of the convergence in the reduction of component costs, data communication costs and coverage, and easier access to enterprise systems that are likely to lead to paradigm shifts in whole industries – up and down the supply chain. Because the investments and expenses have to be justified, there are still hurdles to be overcome, but the hurdles are lower and the extent of the impact is so widespread it is yet to be fully appreciated.
A couple big things stood out in 2016:
An increasing number of companies have explored wireless technology options for IIoT and those that have found their way to LoRa appear to have done some of the most extensive research, testing, and evaluation. LoRa appears to be leading the pack for distributed devices in industrial settings.
Affordable sensors, that are also robust, are making the ability to detect, monitor, and report on field operations parameters accessible to an increasing number of applications that could not previously justified the expense. As these solutions fall into the sub $100 range, managers and directors (and field staff) are starting to imagine all the things that would fundamentally change how they get “the job” done.
Scalable flexibility in a plug-n-play end-to-end solution that can use existing resources from an enterprise, or leverage a “one stop shop” installation, are increasingly being demanded by organizations looking to get something in place quickly, inexpensively, and with high reliability (low risk).
With the number of corporations customizing new connected products for 2017, the rate of new enterprise-wide initiatives for remote monitoring, and the growing appreciation for “complete solutions”, expect 2017 to be a period of great acceleration in the IIoT market.