Industrial Internet Primer

During my time in St. Charles last week, I had the opportunity to network with both new and experienced Accenture team members. While having conversations with both analysts and leadership, I noticed a trend when speaking about Internet of Things, many people have heard the term, but a large number of them were mostly unsure about what it means.

So I’d like to take a step back from the technical details, and get in to some quick basics about Industrial Internet of Things.

Converging technologies

The term Internet of Things actually spans multiple technical disciplines. These technologies include things like analytics, big data storage, wireless networks, proprietary hardware sensors and gateways, API layers, dashboards, and more.


Leveraging data

One of the premises behind IoT is to automate the process of collecting of data and pool this information into systems which can speak to each other. Where information was previously collected by disjointed systems, sometimes involving manual recording, or simply not collecting data, IoT pushes towards near real time data collection in an environment where multiple data sources, once not related, can be combined and analyzed for patterns.

Extracting Value

The goals of IoT include

–          Helping move companies from being reactive (in the case where something breaks and now it needs to be fixed), to being proactive (for example, relationships can be found between data points which can trigger maintenance tasks before downtime is realized)

–          Creating new revenue streams by productizing the data through new service offerings, for example, rather than selling machinery as a one-time product purchase, companies may begin to offer machinery for free, and then sell subscription services to maintain and ensure efficiency of the machinery.

This move towards Products as a Service has the potential to trade upfront sales for sustained revenue, which over time can result in higher ROI than by single sales alone.

Looking forward

As more and more levels of infrastructure are becoming connected, the importance of the collected information and the value that can be extracted from this data grows immensely. When we talk about Internet of Things, we talk about equipping infrastructures, companies, and services with more up time, lower cost of operations, and new opportunities for recurring revenue streams.

This has been a very quick, high level look at the Industrial Internet of Things. I’m sure you can tell, the concepts can get extremely technical, and cross many different technologies. If you are working on proposing an IoT style project, be sure to consider the fact that it is unlikely to find a single individual equipped with all the skills required for a successful deployment.

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