CEO Insights: IIoT makes old equipment tell customers new things with the use of proper sensors

The startup he founded has been named one of "The 20 Fastest Growing IoT Companies" by Insights Success Magazine. Last week, the company was listed by CB Insights as one of the top 125 IIoT startups. Today, as a part of our CEO Insights series, Keith Flynn,  President & Founder at RtTech, answer to our questions about Industrial IoT Apps.

Q: How should an industrial company approach the IIoT?

A: Many Industrial IoT solutions allow for users to connect more assets and sensors to their existing systems and also allow for additional analytic apps to connect to these systems. This provides additional value for industrial companies by accessing KPIs like OEE, Downtime Management, and Energy Management.  This approach to Industrial Analytics leverages the company's previous investment but also takes advantage of the latest technology available such as edge technology.

Industrial IoT should serve as an extension of a customer's previous investment. It is used to couple new tech with older and existing assets.

Q: In your opinion, what are the steps to improve the adoption of Industrial IoT? Can you elaborate on alternate approaches to the IIoT?

A: Industrial IoT solution providers need to stop waiting for the customer to alter their current operations to adhere to the proposed IIoT solution, but rather ensure that the solution adheres to the current infrastructure of the organization. An Industrial IoT solution should be a 'drop-in' solution that is compatible with any current infrastructure, regardless of age or level of control sophistication. Avoid any unnecessary 'rip and replace' with the customer's current infrastructure.

Avoid being disruptive to control or plant operations. Upgrade what you already have instead of replacing it. I'm sure you've heard the term "You can't teach a dog new tricks." Well, IIoT can teach an old dog new tricks. IIoT makes old equipment tell customers new things with the use of proper sensors.

Q: What are your recommendations for extracting maximum business value from the IIoT?

A: Start Small – When projects fail, it is often due to the size of the project. Start with a small number of assets to connect to your system. When implementing an IIoT project, some companies expect impressive results immediately, which is unfair for a large-scale project. Pick a couple of more problematic assets. Focus on maximizing the efficiency of those machines before scaling out and including other assets.

Ultimately, focus on your success criteria. Have achievable and measurable goals.

Q: How long does it take to convince a business leader to invest in Industrial IoT?

A: Don't hate me for this answer, but it depends.

A major factor is the severity of the problem that the business leader is looking to solve. I am a firm believer of avoiding unpaid proof on concepts. This helps to weed out the business leaders who are serious about improving their operations from those who just want to be part of the IIoT buzz.

Set timely milestones within your POCs and look for quick wins.