IIoT, being the trending technology is in talk globally with a mixed reaction defining its pros and cons. Every new technology comes with strengths and weaknesses during its evolution period and later holds a firm place. Same is with IIoT which deals with the integration of different equipment be it in same or different locations or network and then analyses the data and provides predictions to optimize the manufacturing process. Though many manufacturing industries have already implemented IIoT and have optimized their processes, there are few that are still in dilemma of whether to implement it or not. To have a clear understanding of the emerging technology IIoT, its future scope and all the possible threats, let’s have a SWOT analysis.
IIoT is mainly backed by the network and the protocols, that supports the communication between the industrial devices and the industrial platforms to provide various services and perform the required activities. So strong networking and compatible protocols can be a key to successful IIoT. The SWOT analysis will there by assist the industries to build a strong business strategy plan for their development. Let’s start the analysis,
Connecting various number of devices such as sensors, machines, cloud platforms and resulting into Machine-to-Machine communication(M2M), data analytics, integrated asset management, logistics services, etc are the strengths of the IIoT. It offers connected industry through communication between multiple devices and departments be it in different locations through the internet. Through this the manufacturing process is optimized as the sales data can be utilized to manage the production, furthermore, the analysis of data from multiple devices can be utilized for preventive and predictive maintenance system. The huge data created in the industry if processed wisely, will not only result in better real time decision making and cost reductions but also results in fostered innovations and application of new services. The clear visibility and transparency in the industry process and various departments can be achieved through IIoT which ultimately enhances the process or production at lower cost. Through the predictive and preventive maintenance, and various other modules available in IIoT, we can not only lower the maintenance cost of the equipment but also manage the entire assets and devices in the industry leading to the systematic functioning of the industry with higher outputs.
As IIoT deals with the large amount of data, the main concern arises about the data security, data processing and about the cost for the implementation of IIoT. As IIoT involves the data and device operation on the internet, there may be always a threat of getting hacked. Though the security and data encryption are continuously improving, its important to be aware of the malicious activities by the hackers. Also, its important to have a proper understanding of the data to be utilized, the analysis of the excess and the outdated data may result into nothing but may just add to the cost. The other concern is about the data analytical tool that is used in the IIoT and its successful implementation in the industry and its compliance. If successfully installed with proper strategy, the industry may acquire faster returns on investment, but with loopholes, it may get delayed and may also experience losses. Initial investment in implementing the IoT in the existing industry is huge, but it will surely lead to the technical advancements in the industry resulting into high productivity. The cost for implementation of IIoT is high, so selecting the IIoT is crucial as everything depends on it, be it the growth or the losses.
IIoT is trending in the manufacturing industries as is associated with lots of opportunities in the near future. With successful installation of the IIoT in the industry, that is with secure connections and advanced analytics, the device health can be monitored through the predictions and timely preventive actions that will save the maintenance cost as well as the downtime. Secondly, through IIoT, you can have a prototype of any product, that will help incomplete analysis and provides the scope of the product. This can save industries from future and unpredictable losses. IIoT is an emerging technology, and with the replacement of the old manufacturing machines with the latest one, data can be analyzed more precisely to provide predictions and trends to increase the productivity and the equipment health. Through the remote access, industry can improve reliability of the manufacturing process by avoiding the shutdowns and reducing the downtime and eliminating failures through the predictions. IIoT can be impressively used for inventory management, quality control of the product and for the enhanced plant safety and security. With the complete digitalization of the process, threat to human life can be reduced in the areas of threat in the manufacturing process. IIoT will not only enhance the current productivity of the industry at lower costs but also opens new doors resulting into new revenues.
As every evolving technology has few lag points that will improve over the time. The main threat here is the hacking as it lacks the preventive measures for the strong cyber-attack. IIoT deals with huge amount of the industrial data and if such cyber-attacks occur, it will result into massive loss to the industry as it will lose its competitive edge. The digitalization of the industry may result into loss of employment and the uneducated skilled labour or low-income employees will be most affected through this. Though, IIoT will eradicate the manual data interpretations through its AI/ML based technologies, some industries still believe in manual efforts and may not accept the technology that easily. After successful integrations and acquiring data, the main struggle lies in the proper analysis and setting accurate trends and reports. If the data is not analysed correctly, the obtained data will be of no use in improving the equipment performance. The other threat is of the data available on internet and so IIoT can overcome that by adopting IPv6 by improving network security, connect ability and scalability.