Creating New Value out of Heterogeneous Systems
So what’s the biggest opportunity here? Isn’t manufacturing growing globally, with new plants popping up closer to centers of distribution and consumption? Yes and yes, and the IIoT will certainly play a role there. However, what everyone knows within the industry is that the majority of manufacturers have many, many legacy systems that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
And this is where the major opportunities really lie. Rather than imagining Smart Connected Operations as being associated with shiny new buildings and conceived with the first shovel of ceremonial dirt, we need to be thinking of how we can transform existing plants and their heterogeneous system makeup to deliver new sources of value and even revenue streams.
In fact, investments in the Connectivity portions of the IIoT Platform and adoption of new standards like OPC-UA is where much of the initial innovation is happening in the space and will form the foundation for much of the value add that comes from big data analytics and the development of new mashup software applications.
Further, over time as the above platform solidifies, the traditional hierarchical architecture will converge and flatten out as solution providers port or re-write existing applications to run on top of IIoT platforms.
While the functions of these levels 0-5 may be relevant to the old ways of doing business, the information transfer will no longer be hierarchical between the levels, eliminating the dependency of integration between traditional systems and creating a data from anywhere to anywhere environment.
The technology is ready and the potential for new business models and revenue streams is here today. Only one question remains…