Editors’ Note: Technology has forced innovation and change in almost every industry, and manufacturing is no exception. In today’s guest post, Dianne Denison, CEO and Founder of Denison Consulting Group, a WBENC-Certified WBE, shares her top predictions for 2018 on a critical topic for leaders and businesses in the manufacturing and technology space – the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT for short. If you haven’t yet heard this term, you will soon. The Internet of Things refers to the ongoing trend of connected objects, devices or components of machines, enabling powerful connectivity and enormous opportunities for data gathering and analysis. This means more information and intelligence, which could lead to more efficiencies, smarter decision making, and opportunities for growth. How could this impact your business? Diane breaks it down to help us prepare for what may be in store in the IIot space in 2018.
The Industrial Internet of Things - Denison's Predictions for 2018
By Dianne Denison, Founder and CEO at Denison Consulting Group, a WBENC-Certified WBE
1. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will see tremendous deployments in 2018.
IIoT elements are now widely available, interoperable and economical. Why? The facts are in our favor. In the last 10 years, the cost of RAM, processing, bandwidth and sensors have decreased so substantially that IIoT deployments can be made economically. Standard-based, interoperable devices allow decisions to me made with higher degrees of confidence and life-cycle cost estimates.
2. U.S. tax reform will open a floodgate of capital for expansion and infrastructure upgrade, job growth and investment in job training for the future.
Tax revenues will slowly repatriate, jobs will return and be filled, and communities rebuilt. Confidence will continue to soar, particularly among the manufacturing and business communities – the builders and investors needed to fuel the economy. Manufacturing will provide the multiplier effect in the economy as it has done so well in the past. According to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the average cost to manufacture goods in the U.S. is now only 5 percent higher than in China and is 10-20 percent lower than major European economics. More telling, BCG projects that by next year it will be 2-3 percent cheaper to produce in the U.S. than China.
3. It's Powerful Baby!
Manufacturers account for nearly one third of the country's energy usage, spending more than $200 billion per year to power their facilities. Over 70 percent of production line disruptions (often costing millions) are due to poor power quality. Manufacturers are now realizing this and are waking up fast to managing and monitoring their power quality. The business cases to invest are obvious with almost immediate impact, making investment in power quality "one of the hottest IIoT business cases in 2018." Let's think more broadly, from a strategic perspective. The World Economic Forum rates countries with and without access to high quality power – drawing a direct correlation between industrialization rates and the rise of a burgeoning middle class with those countries who have access to high quality power. Mega and multi-national manufacturing firms will substantially increase their focus on maintaining and managing high quality power as a critical, high cost driver in the production process.
4. Data analytics software will be a greater catalyst.
As the IIoT will generate mega volumes of unstructured data, the availability of big data ubiquitous platforms that are available and cost effective will be critical catalysts for IIoT deployments. (Rockwell Automation's Project Scio sounds particularly exciting!)
5. Security will be top of mind – both physical and cyber – for individuals, corporations and nation states.
Threats will increase in frequency and intensity demanding an overall increased awareness, proactive risk mitigation strategy, and overall commitment to a deeper security-focused framework and process - let's stay vigilant and safe.
6. What is old is new again.
To take advantage of the IIoT, companies will use a combination of re-engineering processes and TQM principles to apply an optimal mix of both to their situation. My 13-year-old daughter, Camille, just learned about Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management. That and the Hawthorne Studies conducted at Ford Motor Company together formed her impression of what was happening during the Industrial Revolution. Fifteen years ago, we tested "collaborative visualization" with super-computer centers, OEM partners, and users who needed to "get all brains into the same room" sharing real-time data to make better and faster decisions. Sounds a lot like what the IIoT is about to bring us all – in hyper-speed – allowing us to collaborate, solve problems, and apply what's both old and new!
About Dianne Denison
Dianne Denison is founder and CEO of Denison Consulting Group, an engineering consulting firm and systems integrator specializing in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Dianne has more than 20 years of experience in leadership roles working for some of the world’s largest manufacturers and service providers. Dianne built Denison Consulting Group combining her knowledge gained throughout the technology industry, ability to build and manage technical and business teams, and passion to assist industry use and adopt IIoT technologies for greater efficiency and competitiveness. The firm is recognized as a Top 10 Manufacturing Solution Provider in the country, and her management of matrix teams has resulted in billions of dollars of business and jobs created.