From the estimates, by 2020 IoT Market will have 50 billion connected devices and overall market size will be $110 billion. This is expected to add $14.2 Trillion to the economy. Among this growth, Industrial IoT will form a major portion for the growth.
This creates an immense opportunity for various players, rightly so this market is also catching up a steam, maybe also getting a bit crowded. Currently, the market is going through the transformation similar to 2000’s (millennial bug) and the era of ERP implementations. This is because at least 60-70% of companies are either piloting or are implementing one or more of Industry 4,0 solution. These solutions range from Asset efficiency improvement to Analytics and Machine learning and AI. These capabilities are enabled by one critical layer called the Industrial IoT platform or solutions.
Who are the players in Industrial IoT and Industry4.0 Landscape?
Since this area is growing and emerging very fast space is getting defined. Currently following are the known opportunities for entities-
Consulting Digital Strategy:
Consulting organizations are one of the first to identify opportunity and develop and tap the market potential. However, I still do believe there’s a lot of opportunity in this area and many underserved and unserved Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s). Typically any SME’s would like to focus on their key competency, i.e. delivering the product to customer or consumer. The amount of complexity and interfaces needed to start an Industry 4.0 program could be simply overwhelming for an organization who is not intending to hire few key top-level executives to strategies the program.
Large IIoT Platform Companies:
These are the companies who are frontrunners and torchbearers who started the trend and demonstrated value in Industry 4.0 programs. Currently, in the space, the big platform companies like PTC, GE Predix, SAP, etc are competing to grab a pie. The advantage with some of these platforms is options for interconnectivity with enterprise data and support system availability. Another set of players in this category are exclusive cloud IoT players line Amazon, Azure and more. They have the unique advantage of completely scalable infrastructure, however, it lacks the potential solution available at the “Edge”.
However, on the flip side, most of these platforms offer just the ability to connect to various data sources and an environment to develop apps to meet your objectives. One of the most important thing which is missing is the ability to drive value with out of the box analytics and readymade apps for the companies from day 1.
Service Industry and opportunity:
This domain is going to be one of the biggest game changers, probably because of the number of OEM’s and organizations going in for implementations of Industry 4.0/IIoT initiatives. The initial period for IT services industry was gone in figuring out the custom pilots and building custom environments and architectures. Going forward following are the areas which will drive significant value for IT services-
•Supporting the large IIoT platform deployments to develop and maintain the applications, visualizations/mashups, etc.
•Supporting organizations for Cloud developments, deployments, and maintenance.
•Consulting and initial handholding of the companies to get started with larger initiatives.
IT services industry needs more domain experts from Industrial and Manufacturing with Technology Background.
IIoT Startup’s with Niche Offering:
Most of the funding in IoT startups are being routed to IIoT startups. The startups in this space are offering some of the most focused capabilities. Typically IIoT startups focus on providing unique value and quicker return on investment. One of the major watch out while leveraging startups is to check for their global presence and scalability.
Data Source: Zinnov
Integrators and Connectivity Partners:
The Integrators in IIoT space will be playing a critical role. Many of the Small and medium businesses (20-30 %) do not even have the ability to acquire the data or SCADA and MES layers. The integrators are typically smaller services companies focussed on installing additional sensors on pieces of equipment or acquiring data from equipment PLC’s via Gateways (Wifi). This data then can be stored in historians or databases.
Following is the typical architecture.
Overall this domain is evolving very fast and creating a huge Business potential for the entire ecosystem to evolve.
Disclosure: Amit works for large consumer goods company, but the views expressed in this post are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of his employer.
Mr. Amit Kurhekar is currently serving as Senior Technology Manager at a large consumer goods company, and has over 15 years of diverse work experience. In his present role, he is responsible for enabling Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0 using AI and Analytics.
Amit has completed his Masters in Engineering from BITS-Pilani and is a certified Six sigma green belt. He has a unique background in Manufacturing, product design, data science, Simulation & Analytics which brings together skills to enable superior process/equipment design, deployment, and ongoing performance improvement.