Research related to the Industrial Internet has moved from starry-eyed predictions and generalities to practical, actionable information. A nice shift, and one that reiterates the fact that this new “revolution” is indeed happening and advancing quickly.
A recent paper from the World Economic Forum states that the Industrial Internet “will change the basis of competition, redraw industry boundaries and create a new wave of disruptive companies, just as the current Internet has given rise to Amazon, Google and Netflix. However, the vast majority of organizations are still struggling to understand the implications of the Industrial Internet on their businesses and industries. For these organizations, the risks of moving too slowly are real.”
The paper, published in January 2015 in collaboration with Accenture, goes on to analyze risks and challenges for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) adoption and provides concrete, actionable recommendations.
In a another report that came out in early 2015, this one from GE and Accenture, the sense of rapid adoption and urgency is reiterated, “Spurred on by board-level direction, surveyed executives feel a sense of urgency in moving more briskly toward the Industrial Internet future.”
The “Industrial Internet Insights Report for 2015”, which focuses on benefits of Big Data analytics, goes on to say that executives across the industrial and healthcare sectors see the enormous opportunities of the Industrial Internet and in many cases are deploying the first generation of solutions. The vast majority believe that Big Data analytics has the power to dramatically alter the competitive landscape of industries within just the next year and are investing accordingly. Yet challenges around security, data silos and systems integration issues between organizations threaten to delay Industrial Internet solutions that could offer distinctive operational, strategic and competitive advantages.
The survey they are discussing was fielded in China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the UK and the United States and explored the state of Big Data analytics and how it is being viewed across multiple industries, including power generation and distribution, oil and gas, manufacturing and mining. Companies represented had revenues in excess of $150 million, with more than half of them having revenues of $1 billion or more.
In the section of the paper titled, “Becoming an Industrial Internet value creator,” details are provided on what companies can do right now to start advancing their Industrial Internet capabilities and move toward more value-creating activities. These include:
- Investing in end-to-end security,
- Breaking down the barriers to data integration,
- Focusing on talent acquisition and development,
- Considering new business models needed to be successful with the Industrial Internet,
- Actively managing regulatory risk, and
- Leveraging mobile technology to deliver analytic insights.
When covering concerns around security, the paper reports that 35 percent of executives surveyed saw security as one of the top three challenges to delivering the promise of the Industrial Internet. With only 44 percent feeling they have end-to-end security in place to defend against cyber attacks and data leaks.