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IIoT in 2019: What to expect

IIoT in 2019: What to expect
Through an array of sensors and connected devices, the industrial internet of things (IIoT) continues to revolutionize the manufacturing sector. Recently, the Toronto-based Behr Technologies (BTI), a global licensee of the IIoT wireless communication technology MIOTY, listed five things to expect in IIoT in 2019

1. LPWAN boosts integration

Connecting legacy systems has been one of the biggest hurdles in the development of IIoT. However, Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) are increasingly being seen as an answer to this problem.

“Predicted to support 3 billion IoT  [internet of things] connections by 2025, Low-Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) is a new wireless phenomenon promising to combat these brownfield challenges,” BTI noted, adding that “with its long range, deep penetration, and ultra-low power consumption, LPWAN brings reliable connectivity to previously infeasible industrial locations. As a cost-effective, easy to deploy and manage solution, these networks can be retrofitted in large-scale brownfield facilities to IoT-enable legacy asset and systems.”

2. Turnkey Solutions to become popular

A key factor that is decisive to the development of IIoT is interoperability. According to McKinsey & Company, interoperability is critical to gaining 40 percent of the potential value of IoT.

“IoT is inherently an ecosystem game where no single technology alone can provide a complete solution,” BTI explained. “Interoperability, fueled by open, industry-standard technologies, will enable a new wave of turnkey solutions delivered by IoT vendors and system integrators. By bringing different components of the IoT value chain together, these out-of-the-box offerings help customers streamline complexity and accelerate ROIs.”

3. End-to-end security in communications

Data security continues to be a major concern as IoT makes inroads in various verticals. In the industrial sector, data privacy is crucial for business development. Going forward, security that covers an entire network from end nodes to users’ application platforms is a must.

“Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) can be paired with Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to enable such versatile end-to-end security,” BTI said. “AES is an open encryption standard widely employed for data link layer encryption in low-power IoT networks, while TLS is an application-layer cryptographic protocol for secure web communications. Adoption of these industry-standard, well-proven solutions is crucial to protect the integrity and confidentiality of IoT data against imminent cyber-threats.”

4. Developments on the edge

Given the increasing number of sensors deployed on the ground, the amount of data that is going to be generated in the coming years will be difficult to process. Cloud computing will play a key role in this, but bandwidth issues are still a concern that needs to be addressed. This is where edge-based applications become important.

“Instead of data management and analysis being performed at big cloud and enterprise data centers, it is generated, collected and analyzed close to the data source i.e. IoT sensors and devices,” said BTI. “This reduces the latency between devices and the data processing layer to allow data to be delivered in real-time. Edge computing also enhances compliance and security as data is stored locally, giving hackers fewer opportunities to access all data at once.”

5. The growth of digital twins

Digital representations of physical assets help admins to detect, understand and predict problems within an IIoT ecosystem. According to McKinsey, the linking of the physical and digital world could generate up to US$11.1 trillion a year in economic value by 2025. Others research firms like Gartner expect digital twins to be more popular among industrial companies by 2021.

“Today, digital transformation is no more a choice, but a must for industrial companies to secure their competitive edge,” BTI noted. “Beyond the hype, IIoT is getting closer to reality with increasing maturity and adoption of sensor, networking and analytics technologies. Embracing upcoming IIoT trends as part of your next digital strategy is key to driving continuous innovation process and stay on top of the competition in 2019.”

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