The Industrial Internet of Things is a truly exciting concept. If every factory robot could be integrated to be in constant communication with everything else in the factory, or even factories elsewhere, the industrial industry would be totally revolutionized. People are all for it. The Industrial Internet of Things is well-received, but there is a big hurdle that we will have to overcome if we want to see the IIoT come to complete fruition.
Richard Soley, executive director of the Industrial Internet Consortium, points out that we are using energy grids that haven’t change in 65 years, and jet engines that have 20 years worth of flight data that don’t sync with airport WiFi to transfer that information.
Even a minor advancement in the IIoT could lead to major benefits. A 2012 report from GE states that 46% of the world’s gross domestic product is impacted by the Industrial Internet, which translates into $32.3 trillion. If the IIoT could increase savings from efficiency by just a single percentage point, billions of dollars could be saved.
Integrating legacy operating systems will be key if we are going to see the Industrial Internet of Things become what we want it to become. The IIoT is active and growing, but if we want things to be in constant communication, independent of human input, we are going to have to figure out how to integrate new technologies with old operating systems.
Many new technologies aren’t designed with old systems in mind, and many of the legacy operating systems aren’t flexible enough to adapt to the new technologies. So old systems are difficult to integrate with new technology. How many old legacy systems can there still be? Well, there are actually lots and lots of legacy systems that are still running. So, the question becomes do we find a way to integrate legacy systems or do we continue to run them, know that they won’t be connected with the IIoT?
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