Last week I visited the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress in Barcelona -IOTWC- with the intention to learn more about the ” connected supply chain” or ” Smart Factory” . The congress itself was quite interesting as it went beyond the Industry 4.0 concept I expected. Basically it was more about a different approach known as the “ Industrial Internet of Things“. The IIoT is basically about everything that can be connected in the industrial space and therefore is wider than Industry 4.0 even though, in many cases, both terms seem to be used indifferently.
So where are the differences?
- Industry 4.0 is a German initiative to spur a fourth industrial revolution. The term “Industry 4.0” actually was originally used by the German government to describe a potential fourth industrial revolution. It is is focused specifically on the manufacturing industry and the goal of ensuring its competitiveness in a highly dynamic global market.
- The concept of the Industrial Internet of Things is an industrial adaptation of the Internet of Things and has many industry variations and was perfectly reflected in the IOTWC program as it included a wide range of applications, from Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Healthcare to Energy and Utilities, Technology or Innovation. One of the more prominent organizations identified with the Industrial Internet of Things is the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), which was formed in 2014 with the support of GE, AT&T, Cisco, Intel and IBM. The IIC is a non-profit organization that aims to provide resources, ideas, pilot projects, and activities about IIoT. While visiting the IOTWC Barcelona, I had the pleasure to meet two IIC guys, John Edmondson ( Director Business Development) and Steve Gillis ( Sr Account Executive), they clearly explained to me that their organisation is more focused on enabling and accelerating the adoption of Internet-connected technologies across industries.
What is the best initiative? I am certainly not the right person to give an answer, howhever I like the IIC approach of working with key actors in order to enable and accelerate the adoption of Internet-connected technologies across industries, both manufacturing and non-manufacturing. In any case, whether Industry 4.0 or IIoT, it is bound to be big in a short period of time as suggested by Computerweekly.com in a recent article.