It’s only the beginning of 2018, but the Internet of Things (IoT) has already once again seized the media and the market’s attention spans. Tech investors, aspiring entrepreneurs, and avid consumers of digital gadgets and software are wondering what the new year has in store for the IoT, and the smartest amongst them are beginning to ask questions.
Perhaps the number one question that’s plaguing the mind of IoT onlookers is how to discern broader IoT trends from industry-specific ones, and few have more questions than those betting on the future of industrial IoT. So, what are the key differences between the IoT and Industrial IoT in particular, and what common myths should you be aware of?
Learning to specialize
It should come as no surprise that Industrial IoT is merely referring to a specific subset of the broader IoT geared towards industrial processes and manufacturing companies in particular. What few seem to understand, however, is how radically different industrial IoT tech can be from mainstream consumer tech that dominates consumer’s shelves. So, in what ways is Industrial IoT tech different?
To start with, Industrial IoT takes security vastly more seriously than consumer IoT products. In the broader market, the IoT is riddled with security defects, and countless exploits are awaiting to be leveraged by nefarious hackers looking to steal your money or data. Industrial IoT takes the value of intellectual property far more seriously out of necessity, as companies with the latest, cutting-edge tech can’t afford to have their competition make off with their invaluable trade secrets.
Alongside of this, many real-world manifestations of the Industrial IoT, like the high-tech gear that makes up many modern factories or production lines, is often handled by experts as opposed to laypersons. While common, everyday gadgets like cellphones that make up the broader IoT are used by everyone – and thus far more prone to be stolen or hacked – industrial IoT applications are typically only used by those who are aware of the importance of cybersecurity.
Security isn’t the only place where Industrial IoT has the regular IoT beat, however; in the forthcoming years, more money will be funneled towards the Industrial IoT than the regular IoT, too.
Business are leading the way
Every IoT observer understands that its fluid by nature, constantly adapting thanks to the countless innovations being discovered on a literally daily basis. It should thus be obvious that the future of the IoT will largely be decided by its industrial side, which will garner much more investment than its consumer side in the coming years.
Recent research by PwC, for instance, shows that business investment in the IoT will grow more than $600 billion in the next two years, whereas consumer investment won’t even hit $200 billion. Industrial IoT has many more investment opportunities than its commercial counterpart, and while it may not be as flashy or as pleasing to the eye, Industrial IoT solutions are incredibly lucrative and capable of revolutionizing entire fields of business.
While mainstream chatter surrounding the IoT is often focused around such gadgets as smartphones, autonomous vehicles or internet services such as elo boost, there’s relatively little talk about industrial IoT applications. The way that Industrial IoT software and hardware is revolutionizing the way we manufacture everything society needs is thus largely missed out on by many ignorant onlookers. Relatively few understand the massive amount of entrepreneurial innovation that’s at the heart of the Industrial IoT.
The Industrial IoT is reshaping virtually every facet of doing business, changing how businesses scale up their operations or leverage data for future success in the marketplace. Expertly programmed software is helping cut back on costly and dangerous manufacturing instances, and incredibly fast production systems and software are churning out more products at lower prices with greater speed than ever before.
The future of the IoT
This isn’t to say that the Industrial IoT is entirely in a league of its own, however; all subfields of the IoT benefit from one another, with innovations in consumer gadgets often making their way into the industrial workspace, and vice versa. The majesty of the IoT is it’s truly the greatest engine of collaboration ever seen, and as industry insiders in countless fields have come to realize, there’s plenty of innovation to go around.
The future of the IoT will thus not be solely decided by Industrial IoT applications, but on how businesses, consumers, and investors everywhere incorporate the best IoT innovations into their lives and businesses. Industrial IoT may incorporate more faceless business applications than the broader IoT, championing emerging tech like machine learning and machine-to-machine communications, but it has a well-deserved place in the broader IoT ecosystem. As IoT enthusiast everywhere are coming to learn, Industrial IoT applications may be different, but they’re just as valuable as the consumer gadgets they already love.