Earlier in my career I worked for IDG’s Network World, Computerworld, and The Industry Standard, respected trade publications covering enterprise and consumer IT. One thing I developed was a healthy skepticism for buzzwords and trends pushed by vendors and some analysts. What was red hot one year might be an dead end a few years later … or would develop in a way that no one anticipated.
At #IoTfM17 I heard some of the speakers cite fantastically optimistic statistics about IoT’s growth trajectory, including the mother of all estimates put out by Cisco in 2011 of 50 BILLION connected devices by 2020. I don’t believe self-serving numbers like this (who the heck will install and implement all of these things?), but estimates I do put some faith in relate to where the things will be used: Most will be for industry, not consumers.
Endpoint: Industry is one of the last frontiers for an information technology overhaul. It’s been talked about for years, but now it’s finally happening, as shown by a growing number of pilot projects in various areas of industry, including some fine examples that were showcased at #IoTfM17 (more below). There’s also a shift in how vendors are overhauling their product lines and enabling connectivity with other industrial and IT systems. Finally, there’s a new appreciation of the value of data — not just for simple reporting, but actually leveraging it for automation, predictive maintenance, and competitive advantage.
The third annual IoT for Manufacturing Workshop (#IoTfM17) took place at Georgia Tech earlier this month at the Calloway Manufacturing Building. Judging by the full lecture hall that required an overflow space, there were probably close to 100 attendees, many of them from manufacturing companies as well as a smaller number of vendors and academic attendees. According to event organizer Andrew Dugenske, Principal Engineer and Director of Georgia Tech’s Factory Information Systems Center, the purpose of #IoTfM was to learn and cross-pollinate about IoT.
It was clear that industrial IoT is hot. In his remarks to the attendees, Georgia Tech’s EVP for Research Dr. Stephen Cross noted that there were three separate events on campus during the week that related to IoT: Besides #IoTfM17, there was also the “Internet of Everything” event hosted by the Flexible Electronics Laboratory as well as a conference on smart cities organized on campus by the City of Atlanta.
Endpoint: People (and institutions) are talking about industrial IoT and related technologies. What about doing IoT?
Welcome to the inaugural issue of Priority Payload Report: The Newsletter of Industrial IoT, or PPR for short! I’ve been writing about IT and consumer tech for decades, and started PPR to focus on the revolution taking place in software, hardware, and connected systems in industry. Known as the Industrial Internet of Things (Industrial IoT or IIoT) or Industry 4.0, it is transforming the way many organizations conduct operations.
This issue of PPR will cover the takeaways from the 3rd annual IoT for Manufacturing conference, which took place earlier this month at Georgia Tech. After you read it, I’d appreciate it if you took a quick survey (just 10 questions, most of them multiple choice) to let me know what you think. Future issues will include news, analysis, and interviews from various sources, with the goal of keeping you informed of trends and best practices in this burgeoning field.
Feel free to share this with colleagues and others who may be interested. Anyone can register for the PPR newsletter by using the signup form on this screen. It’s free for now, but next year we will institute a low-cost subscription plan. Some articles will also be posted to the PPR website at prioritypayload.com.
Thanks for your interest!
Ian Lamont, Founder & Editor