I recently attended a Kepware company meeting and left excited that we are about to enter the “Wild West” of technology, where opportunities seem endless. I am referring to the Internet of Things (IoT).
As a member of the Sales team, I typically work with folks on the plant floor or "in the trenches” at some of largest companies in the world—and we often lose sight of the big picture. Phrases like the “Internet of Things” are tossed around but not put into practice. As many of us know, these new technologies and ideas take quite some time to become a reality. But as IoT becomes more than just a buzzword, I felt the need to explore this phenomena and how, in a general sense, Kepware may be a key participant. As a sales-oriented individual, I immediately asked myself what value could Kepware bring to the IoT that inherently exposes opportunities?
IoT can be described as a network of physical objects or “things” embedded with technology and connectivity that enables them to provide greater value than just being a thing. Instead, these things have the innate ability to exchange data among other devices, systems, and services beyond machine-to-machine—covering a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. Providing data from anything to anyone anywhere and at any time 24/7/365: isn’t this what Kepware’s mission has always been within the Industrial Automation space? How can we leverage our industrial-strength solutions, interoperability, and position within the industry to be a fundamental player in the Industrial Internet of Thing (IIoT)? That is where the opportunity lies.
As companies across the globe continuously try to improve on operational efficiencies—whether around real-time optimization of production, labor costs, safety and security, supply chain, revenue streams, or new business opportunities—it ultimately comes from great decision making. In order to make better decisions, we are seeing the movement towards Big Data analytics, which are increasingly enabled by the IoT movement. Providing key decision-makers with as much data as possible from every device or application within a manufacturing plant, power grid, or oil field that can be compiled and analyzed will empower them to improve operational efficiencies.
So where am I going with this? When large corporations begin looking for ways to incorporate their industrial data into their IoT initiatives, how will they go about it? In most circumstances, the industrial data is already being collected by products like KEPServerEX. Rather than re-invent the wheel, it may make sense to request this data from applications already in place within production.
More on Industrial IoT
If you're interested in learning more about the Industrial IoT, I encourage you to download "Industrial Internet of Things and Communications at the Edge". This new eBook by Kepware CEO Tony Paine explores the IIoT and details its history, challenges, and the improvements it will enable in automation and control systems.