There’s a race going on? It is a multi-dimensional race with people, machines, processes, and technologies that ultimately will lead to disruption for it will reward time and money to those that participate and to the victors go the spoils! The emerging industrial internet will disrupt all legacy business models. Companies will abandon old approaches that don’t use real-time data analytics to interact with intelligent sensors in the field to make smarter devices that lead to smarter decisions that flow higher profits to the bottom line—a subject that is near and dear to every CEO across the globe.
Companies that fail to adopt a continuous innovation business model will wither and die. The companies that have followed this path to date are impressive. Apple, the most profitable company on the planet, is a good example but there are many more on this same path, Amazon, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Google. There’s a race to deploy analytics to intelligent sensors in real-time—money is being left on the table every day we fail to do this.
According to a new market research report "Smart Appliances Market by Smart Home Appliances (Washer, Dryer, Air Conditioner, Vacuum Cleaner), Smart Kitchen Appliances (Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Freezer), Technology (Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth), End User, and Region - Global Forecast to 2020", the smart appliances market is estimated to reach USD 37.2 Billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 15.4% between 2015 and 2020.
The industrial internet isn’t about linking refrigerators. It’s about linking industrial systems to take advantage of real intelligence at the edge of the network. The upside for the industrial internet is far greater than for consumer products.
GE makes a jet engine with approximately 7,000 sensors. Information from those sensors is processed in the cloud to anticipate problems. The data enables engine manufacturers to build more fuel-efficient engines and adjust engines as they are running - fuel consumption as a service. There’s also the ability to provide maintenance as a service since all engine maintenance can be preplanned based on data received from the sensors. A more efficient maintenance program reduces the number of hours an airplane, or any other piece of equipment, is out of service. Between fuel and maintenance efficiencies, a fleet of 3,000 airplanes will save billions of dollars.
There are still a lot of gaps in the industrial internet with respect to technology and analytics; however, consortia like the Security Fabric Alliance ensure that large companies will work in a collaborative and agile development process to design commercial grade solutions. The gaps will be filled as part of the agile development process, teaching people what they need to learn in order to build commercial production grade solutions with their customers right alongside of them, guiding them so they get it right the very first time they engage this process.
The Security Fabric Alliance is working to create an industrial internet you can trust. It is working with Internet 2 and others to build a test bed using secure connections at both ends of the wire over an MPLS network by overlaying a deterministic layer to the network to allow secure, low latency data communication within this new Industrial internet using an existing national backbone combined with optical switching technologies DWMD that is used throughout the world telecom networks today. Security must be engineered in from the beginning rather than bolted on afterward. The Security Fabric reference architecture is the catalyst for this orchestration.
Embedded security within embedded systems depends on the proper application of eight primary tenets:
Open Access Technology International (OATI), the industry energy market leader, is preparing to deploy a commercial gateway with security fabric reference architecture that can execute secure firmware upgrades without a person having to visit a substation. Industry experts currently estimate the cost of having a human physically open the door to a substation at $100,000. With more than 200,000 substations in the U.S., the savings when all firmware upgrades can be done remotely is several billion dollars.
The agile fractal grid is a combination of the industrial internet operating in tandem with high-performance computing and a new generation of digital controls that can operate the grid with greater agility, real-time precision, and dynamic alignment with changing local conditions.
Agile control rests on the rapid and accurate collection and sharing of information at all levels of grid operation, and the integration of advanced analytics to manage the data and assess control options.
This new approach creates a fractal design of cooperating micro grids that provide industrial strength security, resilience and efficient power, or other services, to consumers even after a hurricane, earthquake, or lightning has severed the distribution system. The power grid can teach us a lot of what we need to learn in order to transform the power grid and design a new emerging Industrial Internet to support billions of machine-to-machine communications. It is clear one cannot actually achieve one without the other.
We must secure the future of new generations by creating a resilient more reliable and more efficient power grid without fossil fuel dependency. Alternative energy, micro grids electric vehicles and battery-stored power are key elements of that vision. The industrial internet will evolve out of the transformation of the power grid along with intelligent machines and sensors hosted on a national backbone design from the ground up using agile development continuous innovation business models. We will start with the small the medium and the large project based engagements with customers.
The overall premise is to establish small-scale test bed (e.g., OATI) that will mature into live deployments across numerous verticals: energy, emergency response, smart buildings, avionics, transportation, smart manufacturing, healthcare, technology, data centers, and beyond. This premise was part of the SmartAmerica Challenge (White House Innovation Fellows) in which my white paper “Communications Fabric” was chosen by the Fellows to be demonstrated in Washington DC as part of their test bed program for the industrial Internet.
One must use a “community of practice” made of real practitioners in order to deliver on this vision. These practitioners will learn from other subject matter experts while teaching these methods to others in the spirit of “The Timeless Way of Building”—one of several books written on design patterns and architecture by Christopher Alexander. These methods have been used for centuries to advance civilizations perhaps we have to go back in time to relearn what we already have inside us ‘the Way” before we redefine our future.
Ultimately, the customers of these solutions will become the best sales force as you tie together one successful implementation at a time. One cannot rush success—as Orson Wells so aptly put it: “no wine before its time”—for you have created customer-inspired solutions and advocates to help promote the execution of the vision.