Factories, warehouses and workshops are undergoing a major technology upgrade; as firms fit out industrial equipment with data-collecting sensors, manufacturers’ machines communicate with each other online. This is the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, and it is transforming the work of the enterprise.
The IIoT industry could add as much as $14 trillion to the world economy by 2030, according to Accenture. The number of IIoT-enabled machines, meanwhile, is set to reach into the hundreds of billions. That is ten times more devices than IIoT’s consumer-focused counterpart, the Internet of Things, or IoT, which builds web connectivity into everyday items like speakers and refrigerators.
IIoT makes it possible for manufacturers to extract and analyze data from machines in real-time. Examples of where the technology is used today include:
The expansion of the IIoT is often referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. But where previous leaps forward in manufacturing were down to transformations in hardware, today’s industrial revolution takes existing hardware and extracts new data from it. These data are then used to better understand production processes or consumer behavior.
Manufacturers, for example, can embed sensors in their products in order to learn how those products are used by customers. They can then offer additional services which respond to each individual customer’s needs.
Using sensors to monitor consumption also allows for an even more unprecedented step: physical goods companies can offer their products as services. Under this business model, consumers only pay for what they use, when they use it.
To embrace this approach, firms that traditionally sell goods in one-off transactions must fundamentally shift their thinking. They need to become customer-centric organizations capable of providing access to a product at the click of a button. Some of the internet era’s most successful ventures are built on this “as a service” architecture, including Airbnb and Uber.
Meet the thought leaders and entrepreneurs at the forefront of this transformation in industrial production and manufacturing. Learn how leading tech firms deploy the IIoT today to disrupt established markets.