So far, our series of IIoT Bold Predictions for 2016 has focused on the concepts of IIoT security and government’s regulatory role in the development of IoT and IIoT devices. Today, we’re changing gears a bit, with a prediction from Scott Allen, FreeWave’s CMO, which focuses on the implementation of IIoT technology into big data practices to create real-time, data-driven intelligence.

Prediction #3: Predictive Analytics Alters Fundamental IT/OT Practices

Predictive analytics will change the nature of industrial communication systems and networks significantly over the next five years. Certain industrial sectors have long utilized machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, like manufacturing, utilities, and oil and gas, as the backbone to operations technology. However, as IIoT communication technology continues to improve at a rapid pace, these industries will begin implementing tech and business practices designed to create data synergy that will ultimately provide predictive analytics for better decision making.

There are two elements at work that will push predictive analytics to the forefront of industrial communication systems. The first is the advancement of technology. Big data companies are making serious progress with comparing data-at-rest with data-in-motion as a strong basis for predicting outcomes with maximum accuracy. As the network infrastructure advances at the access layer in ways that allow analytic applications to be executed locally while communicating globally this trend will do nothing but accelerate.

The second element that will drive change is the retiring or soon to be retiring workforce that drove the implementation and use of SCADA networks. This will create a knowledge gap that will require new technology to fill – and predictive analytics will be the one that fills that gap. Although an aging workforce is not unique to the IIoT sector, the transition will be pronounced and could, without incorporating predictive analytics practices, be accompanied by some significant growing pains.

Looking Ahead

Sensor-2-Server (S2S) technology will begin to ease the synergy between IIoT technology and big data. Ensuring accurate data transmission, collection and analysis in critical industries is an important step along the path to a connected world. As S2S technology proliferates, companies will see a significant impact on IT and OT practices, along with the ability to converge those two silos into more efficient and streamlined decision-making.

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