The biggest hurdle for many companies when it comes to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is not just the well-known connectivity or security issues. Equally as daunting, if not more so, is deciding where to start with IIoT in a way that makes the most sense for the company.
To help companies navigate this decision process, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)announced the development of the IIC Resource Hub—a new online interface to the organization’s resources—and a web-based tool called IIoT Project Explorer designed to guide users through the analysis and planning of their own IIoT projects.
Describing the IIC Resource Hub at the IIC’s annual Internet of Things Solutions World Conference, Dirk Slama, vice president of business development at Bosch Software Innovations and chair of the IIC Steering Committee, said, “Members of the IIC have developed these resources for the industry so project managers and system architects don’t have to rely solely on intuition and prototyping in unchartered territory as they do today. The IIC Resource Hub will help lead to successful IIoT implementations and facilitate the multi-billion dollar opportunities of the IIoT.”
- The IIC Body of Knowledge contains collaborative resources that have been developed, tested and published by industry leaders from the IIC membership, including: testbed overviews and outcomes, Insight Reports, IIC foundational documents (which include the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture, Industrial Internet Security Framework, Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework, Business Strategy and Innovation Framework, Industrial Internet of Things Analytics Framework, and Vocabulary Technical Report), and select white papers. All of this content is interlinked on the site, so that users can “see where member companies and external companies are aligned with IIC projects,” said Richard Soley, executive director of the IIC.
- The IIoT Project Explorer is an artificial intelligence-based online system for creating an assessment of an IoT project. It reportedly enables users to “scope a solution and create a mutual basis for communication between technical and business project stakeholders” by directing a quantitative method for developing project implementation, rollout and growth plans. The IIoT Project Explorer “guides you through IIoT project management by asking a series of questions to ensure you understand the complexity of your project and that you’re not forgetting anything,” explained Soley. He added that the IIC doesn't have access to the data you input into the system to receive your project guidance. “The data is stored locally on your browser and remains under your control,” Soley said. Bill Hoffman, president of the IIC, said the AI system supporting the IIoT Project Explorer was built specifically for the IIC in a joint project between U.S. and German integration firms. “It took 18 months to build it at a significant investment” to deliver the type of functionality we were looking for, he said.
- Ecosystem Directory is a mapping of the IIoT ecosystem that categorizes IIoT products, services, researchers and end users. Users can search for experts based on the type of expertise sought.
Slama said results from the IIC’s Resource Hub’s reports will “show where you stand from OT (operations technology), IT, system and project environment aspects. This information can be helpful in generating RFPs for your project—and a draft RFP is provided as a download. The Resource Hub helps manage your risks in an IoT project and gives recommendations for further reading on targeted content in the Resource Hub.”
The IIC said other Explorer tools, currently under development, will provide additional assistance with maturity modeling, security assessment and interoperability challenges.