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All Hail the Age of ‘Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)’ – Industry 4.0

Automation solution providers shift gears to align with IIoT-driven industry transformation according to analysts, Frost and Sullivan

Photo Credit : The Bestem Network,

Tectonic shifts are underway across process and discrete industries driven by the fundamental desire to attain capital efficiency, asset efficiency and resource efficiency. These trends are nurturing the growth of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – also known as ‘Industry 4.0’. The convergence of algorithms, cloud, data, devices and networks drive a creative destruction and expansion of traditional business models. Further, the directional shift from capital expenditure to operational expenditure (CAPEX to OPEX) cycles will see the market focus more on brownfield (as opposed to greenfield) assets and modernization-driven projects in the short term.

The emergence of new business and operational models mandate solution providers to steer towards digital solutions, as the need for outcomes and prescriptive insights grow. Also, another key trend in the market is the industry preference towards solution integration, enterprise-scale contextualization of insights and multi-site deployments.

All of this steer an intense collaboration between IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology), which flattens out the traditional layered hierarchical architectures present in process and discrete industries. The flattening of automation architectures has led to the emergence of several digital industrial platform offerings such as Ability from ABB, Mindsphere from Siemens AG, PlantWeb Digital Ecosystem from Emerson, Predix from GE Digital, Lumada from Hitachi Corporation, Leonardo from SAP AG and Watson from IBM to name a few.

"Digital industrial platforms will emerge as the cornerstone to unlock value and generate alternative revenue monetization streams from existing products and solutions across the automation solutions market," said Frost and Sullivan research analyst Ticaram Ramakrishnan focusing on industrial automation and process control. "Further, OT vendors' development of digital solutions, will compete with traditional IT majors as value-levers move from hardware to software and outcome-based services," he concluded.

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