As a manufacturing company that is looking to leverage industrial Internet of Things for smart manufacturing, or, AI-enabled connected asset offerings, companies are faced with a plethora of platform choices. Wading through the marketing talk and figuring out what approach to pick can be quite a task. Crafting the right platform strategy is a key consideration for a successful initiative.
The complexity is driven by the fact that many IIoT platforms are complementary but also offer overlapping functionality. So for the industrial customer it becomes a bit of a nightmare to try and understand the future implications of one platform vs. an other. A decision might suit immediate needs but be the wrong choice for what lies ahead. In a previous article, I covered the 4 dimensions of Digital Transformation with IIoT and the Manufacturing Intelligence ROI drivers. Let’s look at how these can be mapped to help make a decision when it comes to making a platform choice.
The 3 layers of a typical IIoT solution correspond to three types of platform choices and players that an enterprise needs to consider. An Edge platform focuses on connecting machines and providing a framework for intelligent local applications that can connect to an adjacent core IOT platform. This adjacent layer is the Core platform provider who acts as data aggregator and processor and typically hosts the manufacturing data lake. All business value realization applications feed off the Core and Edge layers to create a new breed of the Application Platforms.