Industrial Internet Consortium Pushes Interoperability for Internet of Things

Loraine Lawson
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The Industrial Internet Consortium recognizes that interoperability is a major challenge for the industrial Internet, which is basically the Internet of Things (IoT) in an industrial setting.

While they’re not a standards body, admitting there’s a problem is half the battle, right? But then again, it’s not so surprising, since AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel formed the group a year ago. It now has 140 members.

A recent Forrester survey found that 56 percent of 600 global companies surveyed said integration was a top barrier to IoT implementations, with 47 percent citing security and privacy as the top concern. Total cost concerns ranked equally high. Supply chain optimization, visibility and loss prevention ranked among the top five benefits companies cited for the IoT. (Improved customer experience ranked the highest.)

The IIC’s goal is to promote interoperability, not establish standards, according to IT Wire, which recently interviewed IIC CTO Stephen Mellor. It does intend to also publish a broader reference architecture, notes IT Business Edge blogger Carl Weinschenk.

Weinschenk notes that a number of IoT standards efforts are emerging, and even questions whether too many standards groups already exist. He focuses primarily on the physical aspect of sensors, but as I’ve pointed out, questions about data interoperability also abound. In fact, Fortune reports that heavy equipment maker Caterpillar made a minor investment in a Chicago-based data analytics platform:

“The idea? To take the mountains of data spewing from bulldozers and hydraulic shovels and turn it into meaningful information that can help Caterpillar’s customers catch potential maintenance issues before breakdowns occur, minimizing downtime.”

Maybe the analysts were right when they predicted that every company would soon be a data company.

Report: Cloud Integration Grew “Radically”

A recently published MEA Industry Analysis found that the cloud integration market “has grown radically in government and corporate sectors” over the past few years.

Real-time access to personal data for mobile devices, integration of personal data between devices and applications, as well as automation of business operations, drove adoption, according to a MCADCafé post.

The report is only available for purchase - and the price tag is $3500 — but the synopsis includes a number of interesting findings, including:

  • Cloud integration typically uses drag-and-drop tools, with built-in connectors, maps and business rules.
  • Cloud integration can help boost market share by providing real-time customer services and attracting new customers globally.

It also includes a number of other reasons to opt for cloud integration over traditional middleware, such as a lower total cost of ownership and the ability to add new services in a “dynamic environment,” which I assume means the cloud.

I found it via MCADCafé, but you can just skip ahead to the product synopsis page.

Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

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