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View from India: Industrial IoT, the next big wave

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in India is moving at a rapid pace, giving a value-add to diverse industries like utilities, manufacturing, automotive and transportation and logistics. Industrial integration will be a key factor for IoT’s growth in India. Already IIoT predominates 80 per cent of the Brownfield landscape.

IIoT is an area where both technology giants and startups have found their space and created a market for themselves. It will open out avenues in the workplace whereby both humans and machine need to realign their work culture in order to achieve results which is possible only by combining intelligent automated machines with human inputs. IoT and smart devices will automate tasks and human intervention will happen through innovative thinking and problem-solving issues.

“IoT is a transformative technology that will evolve new business models. Legacy bike brand Harley Davidson has 256 variants. The range is vast but it actually allows bikers to customise their choice, rather than confining production to a cookie-cutter approach. This can be achieved through Industry 4.0 which brings together various technologies including robotics and big data,” said Srikanth Gopalakrishnan, SAP Labs India, speaking at the 9th edition of the NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) Design & Engineering Summit in Bangalore.

Connectivity mechanics are essential to transmit data to services and IoT provides the sensors required for that connectivity to happen. Sensor data gives live information and if it’s put to proper use, it can enhance the value of the existing services especially in applications like power generation systems, security and access controls and temperature controls, among others.

In short, Big Data, IoT and Industry 4.0 have urged businesses to think differently. We are at a stage when the convergence of technologies has helped achieve a scalable way of predicting accuracy. The obvious outcome is that we are moving from mass manufacturing towards mass customization. This has led to a scenario where new services and products will enter the market.

Big Data is the enabler that brings in a value-add to product customisation, besides reducing the cycle time of production. Various verticals including healthcare are increasingly relying on data optimisation along with IoT for accurate diagnosis.

“Data centric models will rake in profitability, it can be a source of monetisation for companies,” said Mark Bregman, senior vice president, chief technical officer, Netapp Inc.

Meta data is the latest move in this direction. Meta data analyses the underlying data. However, it’s a challenge to retrieve the underlying data and process it on the business layers.

In the coming months, one hopes that end-to-end platforms will be developed that will take into account IoT solutions, along with other aspects like security and functionality. Once security and interoperability are taken care of, IoT will have wider adoption across areas - including defence - and developers, too, can concentrate on deliverables. 

Another highlight at the event was that the Sector Skills Council (SSC) NASSCOM launched the ‘Foundation skills in Internet of Things (IoT)’ course-ware, whose aim is to provide an understanding of IoT, which will be helpful in engineering education and will also help create employment opportunities. The course-ware includes an introduction to IoT and its architecture, industry applications and use cases in various sectors like aerospace, agriculture, automotive, construction, energy, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, retail and transportation. The course-end project work is a mandatory inclusion that offers practical exposure to students.

“With the IOT revolution reshaping roles and businesses across verticals, we hope to create more opportunities and re-skill the IT workforce further to catalyse the digital revolution. The launch of ‘Foundation skills in IOT’ aims to charter the future roadmap for the sustained growth of the domain by creating skilled IT professionals,” said Dr Sandhya Chintala, executive director, IT-ITeS SSC NASSCOM and vice president, NASSCOM.

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