The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) involves a number of industrial devices networked together, and promises many benefits:
- Managing everything from everywhere
- Moving control and information at will
- Expanding a network quickly and easily
IIoT certainly carries a few challenges as well:
- Learning a new network technology that will eventually dwarf even the largest fieldbus imaginable
- Following an evolving fabric of suppliers and standards to handle the new technology
- Understanding the immense potential a more integrated network can bring, along with the risks of that increased connectivity
Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide how quickly you embrace this new direction - one where virtually any device and any person in your organization can be linked together. There are steps you can take today to ensure you are ready to take advantage of this on your terms. You can begin right now by developing a solid infrastructure, replacing the ad hoc networks that have grown up and generally work well so far, but may be on the verge of collapse.
- Assess your infrastructure
- Use more of what you already have
- Jump on innovation
- Nurture relationships
- Pilot small but scale - get going!
Mark Wylie manages Belden's industrial Ethernet infrastructure program, applying knowledge gained in his 24 years in factory automation and 10 years in enterprise networking. His primary focus centers on helping manufacturers move from ad hoc networks to managed infrastructure. He is also responsible for Belden's Certified Industrial Network programs.