IIC updates Industrial Internet Vocabulary

Aug 23, 2018

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) announced V2.1 of the Industrial Internet Vocabulary Technical Report. Designed to reduce confusion in the marketplace, the report is a foundational document that provides a common set of definitions for IIoT terms used in all IIC documents. It is also intended as a reference for anyone working in IIoT, including those in IT, OT and vertical industries.

The new version of the report serves an urgent need in the industry by defining new IIoT vocabulary terms that are widely used across many vertical industries, according to its maker. The report adds definitions for terms used in data management, edge and edge computing, IT/OT convergence, connectivity, interoperability, brownfield and greenfield. 

“People from different backgrounds and different vertical industries will often use different terms to mean the same thing. Additionally, the industrial internet has core concepts that mean different things to different people,” said Anish Karmarkar, co-chair of the Vocabulary Task Group, and senior director, standards strategy & architecture at Oracle. “Without an agreed-upon vocabulary, there’s a lot of room for misunderstandings. For example, we’ve defined IT/OT convergence as a process of interweaving IT and OT in order to create IIoT systems. While IT/OT convergence is a hot topic today, not everyone is on the same page as to what it exactly means.”

The report provides definitions for data management, including data, data at rest, data in motion, data in use, data integrity and many others to make communication on this subject easier for IIoT stakeholders. The report also clears up confusion on “connectivity” and “interoperability,” which IIoT stakeholders often mix up. “Connectivity” means the ability of a system or app to communicate with other systems or apps via networks. “Interoperability” means the ability of two or more systems or apps to exchange and use that information.

“Edge and edge computing are hotly debated topics in IIoT this year,” said Marcellus Buchheit, one of the primary authors of the IIC IIoT Vocabulary Technical Report, and president & CEO, WIBU-SYSTEMS USA Inc. and co-founder, WIBU-SYSTEMS AG. “IIoT stakeholders in every industry have been asking ‘where is the edge,’ or ‘what is edge computing.’ The report defines the ‘edge’ as the boundary between pertinent digital and physical entities, delineated by IoT devices, and ‘edge computing’ as distributed computing that is performed near the edge, where the nearness is determined by the system requirements.’”

The IIC will continue to revise the IIC IIoT Vocabulary Technical Report with definitions for new IIoT terms. IIC IIoT Vocabulary Technical Report and a list of IIC members who contributed can be found on the IIC Website here.

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