In this episode of the IoT For All podcast, Bassam Zarkout and Jacques Durand join us to talk about the Industrial Internet Consortium and share some of the recent findings in their Enabling Digital Transformation with IoT Performance and Properties Measurement white paper. They speak to some of the differences between developing IoT for industrial and consumer products, the role that standards play in the IoT ecosystem, and the importance of defining and redefining measurements and metrics throughout the stages of IoT development.
Between them, Jacques and Bassam have more than fifty years of experience in technology, from software engineering to executive C-positions across Canada, the United States, and Europe.
To start the episode, Jacque and Bassam gave a quick background on the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). The IIC is a global, membership-based organization whose focus is to accelerate the adoption of the industrial internet. Members belong to a variety of companies in the ecosystem and all focus on developing best practices and architecture guidelines for the industry.
To develop and design these best practices, like the ones found in the whitepaper the IIC published back in May, the IIC developed thirty test beds – mostly to replicate manufacturing conditions and processes – to test and examine the importance of metrics and measurements in different stages of IoT development.
One of the most surprising findings, according to Jacques, was the importance of partnerships. No company, he said, can develop an IoT system or project on their own and that’s a big part of the value of organizations like IIC. Access to an ecosystem of partners can be vital to the long-term success of an IoT deployment.
Jacque and Bassam also shared some of the differences in approach between industrial and consumer IoT. For industrial, they said, it’s vital to understand the existing processes and architecture and to figure out how to work within those frameworks to create something that doesn’t disrupt legacy processes. And, Bassam said, safety is a huge consideration. Industrial IoT implementations naturally present a higher risk than most consumer deployments.
And in terms of technology, Jacque and Bassam said that the technology connecting the digital and physical spaces are much more diverse in industrial ecosystems. That diversity comes from a need to integrate with legacy systems. “You don’t really have to add sensors to an old fridge, with consumers,” he said, “you just get a new fridge.”
To wrap up the podcast, Jacques and Bassam spoke to the role of standards within the IoT ecosystem – why they’re important and what purpose they really serve. As well as giving some advice for audience members looking to start their digital transformation – including how to ensure efficient and effective communication between the people on the ground and upper management.
About the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC): The Industrial Internet Consortium was founded in March 2014 to bring together the organizations and technologies necessary to accelerate the growth of the industrial internet by identifying, assembling, testing and promoting best practices. Members work collaboratively to speed the commercial use of advanced technologies. Membership includes small and large technology innovators, vertical market leaders, researchers, universities and government organizations.
Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:
(01:19) Intro to Basam and Jacques
(04:04) Intro to the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)
(05:40) Are there specific use cases or industries you’re focused on for these test beds?
(06:20) Were you able to find any surprising or new best practices?
(09:54) How is the approach to solution development different between industrial and consumer IoT?
(12:08) What differences are you seeing in the technology stacks in enterprise and industrial IoT versus consumer?
(14:39) How do standards play into the overall strategy of building into an existing infrastructure?
(17:14) How does IIC look at the different standards that are out there and determine which ones to focus on and utilize?
(20:01) What advice do you have for audience members who are looking to start their journey in digital transformation?
(23:32) How often do you see confusion or contradicting views between the people on the ground versus upper management? In terms of what is needed and what the organization on the whole is trying to accomplish?
(29:03) What advice do you have for companies looking to get started, in terms of building partnerships?