As “cool” as smart homes may be, the success of the Internet of Things (IoT) may rely more on industrial applications. In the electronics industry, consumer products have a relatively short lifecycle while the industrial market boasts long equipment lifespans and stability. How quickly either market will ramp up, however, depends largely on the ability of one IoT device or one IoT system to communicate with another.
The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has announced the release of the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture. This document provides a common language for the elements of industrial internet systems and the relationships between them. This common language helps developers decide which elements they need for their systems, enabling faster delivery of implementations. The announcement was made at the Industrial Internet Berlin Forum.
“For the Internet of Things to reach the predicted install base of 50 billion things by 2020, developers need to be able to connect and scale systems quickly,” said Dr. Shi-Wan Lin, co-chair of the Industrial Internet Consortium Technology Working Group and principal engineer with the Strategy and Technology Office, Internet of Things Group, Intel. “The Industrial Internet Reference Architecture has broad applicability across industrial and other IoT systems to drive that scalability and interoperability within the industry.”
Revenue associated with the industrial IoT (IIoT) is estimated to eventually reach trillions of dollars. GE—a member of the Industrial Internet Consortium – estimates the industrial internet has the potential to add $10 to $15 trillion to global GDP over the next 20 years. Cisco has projected the economic value created by the “Internet of Everything” will reach $19 trillion by 2020.
The Industrial Internet Reference Architecture helps place existing and emerging standards into a common structure, making it easier to quickly identify gaps that need to be filled to ensure interoperability between components. “As a global, non-standard-setting organization, we see this as another step towards achieving global standards through collaboration,” said Stephen Mellor, Chief Technology Officer, Industrial Internet Consortium.
The Reference Architecture document outlines key characteristics of industrial internet systems, various viewpoints that must be considered before deploying an industrial internet solution, and an analysis of key concerns for the industrial internet including security and privacy, interoperability, and connectivity.
“The Industrial Internet Reference Architecture is an important first step toward establishing new IoT capabilities in the industrial space, enabling developers to operate faster,” said Bradford Miller, Senior Scientist at GE and co-chair of the IIC Technology Working Group. “With the IIRA, we are creating new ways to organize industrial applications that move toward a usage-driven, rather than a design-driven approach. We believe collaboration is essential to achieving industrial internet success, and organizations like the IIC help drive best practice sharing through global partnerships with industry leaders.”
The Industrial Internet Reference Architecture is available for complimentary download at www.iiconsortium.org/iira.