IIoT applications

Applications for IIoT: What You Should Really Consider

Ask the Right Questions About Industry 4.0 Solutions

December 11, 2018

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is not just a technology or framework story. Don’t get trapped in the idea from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he [Shoeless Joe Jackson] will come” – understand the strategic direction for your IIoT initiative. To identify the correct application to apply, you need a full grasp of the problem you are really trying to solve and clear business objectives; an IIoT framework alone isn’t enough.


Essentially, pick the right problem to solve, then pick the correct application to solve it because the IIoT framework must not constrain the solution.


You have probably read that for IIoT to work, after gaining commitment from your company’s leadership, you must be ready organizationally with your people aligned, trained, and engaged… all true. Choosing the right application to install first can also facilitate success. You, your team, and your management need an early win.


IIoT is not just a proof point for a promising new technology; technology alone is never enough. Ongoing success requires the intimate interplay of three things your organization needs and must choose in one form or another:

  1. Technology
  2. Implementation methodology
  3. Work process 

Select Proven Technology

Experimental technology is a dangerous gamble. Choose an established technology that has been shown to work, and carefully validate that it can meet your organization’s requirements. Ask for and check references. Blind faith is not enough.



Choose the Simplest Implementation Methodology

Next, a winning implementation and adoption strategy also requires an approach that fits your current staff’s competence and skills. The ideal implementation does not require new intense skills in analytics, data science, or mechanical knowledge. It must be quick and easy to do and must scale to meet site and corporate needs.


The application must fit the end user, not the other way around. Understand what you really need to do to make the chosen solution work properly; that requires an agile methodology executed on a small scale quickly and simply, then rapidly scaled, letting you learn as you go. A waterfall methodology will not do that for you.



Look for Simple Work Processes Embedded in the Solution

Last and equally important, how must the end user respond when the application advises of issues or opportunities or automatically executes changes? Does the application present a “low-touch” work process removing complexity and simplifying interactions? What do you need to do to sustain your new solution to keep it up-to-date and working over long periods? 



Choose the Right Technology Partner

Leading companies developing effective IIoT solutions know the three essential ingredients for making a customer successful. They deliver products built with great technology that’s easy to set up and simple to work with. Then, excellence in training, exemplary service offerings and customer support complement that equation.


Learn more about the keys to success in our executive brief, Digital Acceleration Opens a New Frontier of Value Creation.

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