IoT World 2017 Breaks Attendance Records – Industrial Track Summary

Over 14 000 IoT professionals from around the globe attended the recent IoT World Conference in Santa Clara, California. A multitude of presentations and demonstrations of the latest IoT developments provided options to the attendees to join 8 tracks daily (Sample tracks: AR/VR,  Data Analytics, Executive Summit, IoT Architecture, IoT, Security, Healthcare, Smart cities,  Industrial IoT).

The Industrial IoT & Enterprise track was kicked off by one of our own IIoT World's partner, Steve Brumer from 151 Advisers and had over 20 presentations from predictive analytics, increasing plant performance, extracting values from Industrial IoT applications. A lot of excitement around industrial IoT yet the majority of the conversations seemed to happen from IT to IT as few players represented the OT.

$2 billion in 2016 with the majority of the investment dollars has been in Early Stage or Series A
Steve Brumer started by explaining the 3 main challenges (education, security, integration) and 3 driving industries for IIoT today: Manufacturing ($178 billion global), Transportation ($78 billion global) and Utilities ($69 billion global) articulating that these industries have the most IIoT traction because of the positive ROI use cases:
• Manufacturing: Condition-based and Predictive Maintenance
• Transportation: Fleet Management & Asset Tracking
• Utilities: Remote Monitoring & Control
He also updated the audience on IIoT investment dollars over $2 billion in 2016 with the majority of the investment dollars has been in Early Stage or Series A. For those skeptics out there, IIoT seems to have moved beyond hype with an over $300 million per quarter since 2015 invested in IIoT according to Brumer.

Sukamal Banerjee, Executive Vice President and Global Head of IoT at HCL Technologies, a $7.3 billion global technology services company, spoke on the three stages of IoT maturity and how industrial companies can harness value and create a truly sustainable, transformative business model. In a conversation with him after his speech, he admitted that challenges around silos still exists and urged companies to focus on extracting the business value of IIoT and not just jump on the bandwagon.

Andreas Schierenbeck, Chairman of the Executive Board, Thyssenkrupp Elevator explained how predictive maintenance obtain a 50% reduction on callbacks leveraging cloud based technology and machine learning for their customers.

     Photo credit: Boeing

Robert J. Rencher,  Associate    Technical    Fellow at Boeing covered several notable applications    of    the    digital    twin    in    the    aerospace    industry in addition to Boeing's Industrial IoT vision. He also talked about the impending    challenges (autonomous    systems    host    of    legacy    data, industry    information    sharing)   and   expected    opportunities in the aircraft industry (IoT    Standards, dynamic    aircraft   design/manufacturing    optimization, airline/airport    operations   optimization.

IIoT CEO Advice: “Get Started”
Eric Winsborrow, CEO of Distrix Networks, presenting on the “Top Things Investors are Looking For in IoT Startups” covered the IT-OT Divide and echoed the IIoT adoption challenges: cost of upgrading to “internet” security complexity and risks operations/OT vs IT culture gap, yet his #1 advice for a company looking to implement an IIoT Projects is “get started”.

Integration Challenges
For every challenge mentioned above, there were plenty of organizations in the expo area offering solutions. There were over 250 exhibitors keen to address the IoT challenges and opportunities across multiple verticals and tackled themes such as data analytics, AI, security, the complex IoT platform ecosystem.

Cloud Technology Partners, a platform agnostic software company  (WS, Google, Microsoft), was displaying enterprise-scale IoT solutions for a wide range of use cases to transform businesses.The VP of IoT Solutions, Scott Udell, covered RailPod and the company’s perspective on Industrial IoT adoption and strategy. If it is safe for rail companies, we can expect that IIoT is safe for most industrial companies to embrace.

Cambium Networks' Chief Executive Officer,  Atul Bhatnagar, explained that "it is critical for the network operations center to not only have visibility into remote network nodes, but also the ability to transport information across the field based on data they’ve distilled from the edge of the network". His company offers wireless broadband solutions for field-area networks to improve efficiency of communications infrastructure.

Tata Communications’ Tim Sherwood, VP, Mobility & IoT Solutions, spoke about the chaos that enterprises have to tackle to connect and control IoT and mobile devices globally. Sherwood noted that this chaos is due to the fragmentation of the IoT/M2M value chain, lack of standards in this space, and the inherently local nature of the world’s mobile networks which risk holding back IoT adoption globally.

The IPSO Alliance represented by Christian Légaré, its president and chairman, offered guidelines on integration as his alliance's mission is to enable IoT device interoperability through semantics, security, services and protocols all the way down to constrained devices.

The event’s Startup City featured over 100 startups showcasing how they’re shaking up the IoT space.

In Summary, Companies present at the IoT World pursue IIoT Strategies, yet most of the discussions there lacked the OT engagement.

IIoT projects remain on the table because of their often quick ROI’s and positive bottom line impact. This interest in IIoT was demonstrated by the number of senior and C-level executives that traveled to Santa Clara, California to attend the IoT World. IIoT is becoming increasingly embedded into numerous applications, such as predictive maintenance and condition monitoring, asset tracking and these senior executives want to learn more about these technologies and how they can be deploying in their respective customers and deliver quick ROI and increases to bottom line results. It will be exciting to see what industrial teams do once they embrace the innovative technology behind the IIoT. OT professionals have been working towards reducing the cost of producing products, improving communications, remote connectivity for decades and they need to be stockholders in these conversations to accelerate the adoption of IIoT.