A Practical Approach to Benefit from the Industrial Internet of Things

Feb. 19, 2015
The Industrial Internet of Things promises a lot of benefits. Most importantly, it allows companies to pursue what they’ve always wanted but never thought was possible or practical.

Imagine if companies had immediate access to any information right at their fingertips, as well as the analytics and insights from that information. The opportunity to truly transform business operations would be a reality. This is the benefit the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can deliver.

With the explosion of smart devices and the information they can offer, companies are coming up with game-changing ways to take advantage of the resulting networked information. To make sense of the expanding quantities of data, access and analytics have become increasingly important to turn that data into valuable, actionable information.

For many, however, the concept of IIoT can be overwhelming, with uncertainty over where to start. The reasons for this are that companies are faced with:

  • An explosion of devices and data from both inside and outside of operations, but with little guidance on how to take advantage.
  • Challenges brought on from a dramatically changing workforce, increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity threats, and a world of information available to companies—and their competition—with the click of a mouse.
  • Myriad automation, software, hardware and standards coming from every direction with no clear direction or answers.

To take some uncertainty out of IIoT, Belden encourages companies to focus on practical advice and real-world solutions with immediate benefits. As a first step, taking advantage of what IIoT can offer starts with infrastructure.

From what Belden sees happening in the industry, rest assured that IIoT is real—not a passing fad or buzzword—and there’s an immediate opportunity for companies to realize its benefits. Investing the time to determine how to take advantage of IIoT’s benefits, even without certainty of exactly how they will be used, is a worthwhile first step. The sheer quantities of devices and information will only increase moving forward, and companies who embrace and prepare for this evolution will gain a competitive edge.

Define your vision

The accelerated growth of data and devices—and ultimately what they offer—can inspire a new vision for a company. A seamless, secure and scalable network structure can help companies make strides in areas like operational efficiency, productivity and agility. The shift to an integrated infrastructure enables industrial applications to do more with less and make more informed business decisions through real-time data access and control.

A thoughtful industrial Ethernet infrastructure can adapt to your specific application’s evolving needs to handle whatever the future holds. This scalability is critical when considering IIoT and the need to accommodate growing demands on the network. Ad hoc networks won’t get you there, and Belden is evolving the technology to accommodate this growth in data.

In the end, it’s up to each company to decide how quickly they will embrace the potential of IIoT. No matter where someone is in their project’s lifecycle—from design to installation to startup—steps can be taken right now to develop a solid infrastructure, replacing ad hoc networks that won’t support future needs.

Ultimately, success with IIoT rests with how companies manage assets talking to other assets to run business operations more safely and efficiently. Improvements to network infrastructure today ensure the ability to take advantage of IIoT, both now and in the future.

To improve your knowledge of the Industrial Internet of Things, view the whitepaper: Communication for the Industrial Internet of Things.

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