The Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, has fundamentally transformed the way organizations not only conduct business in their current day-to-day operations, but also has changed the way businesses plan for the future. The explosive growth in data, and the corresponding business decisions driven by that data, is causing a massive ripple effect through the industry and is driving hyper-growth in software, hardware, cloud services, security and integration platforms. Here are some of the recent headlines in IIoT that are shaping the landscape.
A recent report released by ABI Research and published by Fierce Wireless forecasts that industrial manufacturing applications will generate more than $138 million this from cellular and satellite connectivity fees alone. Driving this massive fee generation is the expectation that the IIoT will exceed 53M installed connections in 2017. The largest marketplace for this activity is the Asian-Pacific region, where an additional 5 million connections are expected over this year.
While the IIoT is experiencing massive growth, new security concerns continue to arise. A new study from Tripwire published in IoT Tech News sought insight from 400 IT professionals who describe security as a “significant” part of their job. Of the respondents, over 50% say they do not feel prepared for security attacks that exploit unsecured IIoT devices. 94% of those same respondents believe that the IIoT exposes their organizations to increased vulnerability for cyber attacks.
Robert Westervelt, security research manager at IDC, said: “The apparent contradiction of known risks and continued deployment demonstrates that security and operations need to coordinate on these issues. While IIoT may bring new challenges and risks, the fundamentals of security still apply. Organisations do not need to find new security controls, rather they need to figure out how to apply security best practices in new environments.”
Industry leaders across the globe are making large-scale investments in the IoT — but are they ready for all the challenges that come along with it? In a recent report developed by the BPI Network and featured in the Data Center Journal, 52 percent of executives at large enterprises expect IIoT to have a significant or major impact on their industry within three years — yet only 1.5% of executives surveyed say they have a clear plan and are on their way to implementation. These aren’t leaders from small brands, but executives from huge organizations like Whirlpool, Hitachi and Philips Lighting. And what is these executives biggest concern about the IIoT? You guessed it — security and data privacy.
Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin recently made news when he claimed that the effect of automation on the U.S. workforce is still “50 to 100 more years” away. A recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research strongly disputes that. As written about by the MIT Technology Review, the NBER claims that just in the time period from 1990 to 2007, as many as 670,000 U.S. jobs were lost to automation. Despite this significant impact, robots are still relatively scarce in the U.S. economy. With the growing strength of the IIoT, the number of robots used for automation are expected to increase rapidly, and it will be worthwhile to monitor the impact on the U.S. labor force, particularly in the area of manufacturing.