It was long before promised benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) captured the imagination of SCADA professionals. This was because many of the IIoT capabilities were lauded as a “visionary” match to what they have been accomplishing for over decades.
For a long time, SCADA professionals discovered ways to bring remote data back to the office desk. They explored and found tool sets that could collect information from various industries and process it into actionable data. After the availability of port and com converters, SCADA professionals worked with companies to morph technology into something useful and replace early technology in modems. By working with many solution manufacturers, they molded what they needed for their hardened environment, through RTUs, PLCs, wireless transmitters, wireless I/O, flow computers, display, automation applications, data warehousing and more. They grabbed the opportunity to reduce the cost of operation, increase production and move the nation and the world’s energy. They knew the technology that could be used to improve their systems. Whilst, they were also aware of the downside of applying those technologies in the wrong way or for wrong applications.
Basically, SCADA professionals gained a lot of benefits of the IIoT, even though they obtained it through cumbersome and difficult routes. They understood the value of data and made its flow possible by using the tools they had at hand. Due to the technology at that time, however, the past systems easily became silos, just like most other systems in the enterprise.
SKEPTICISM OF THE IIoT
It is important not to be fooled by their sideway glances at IIoT. Their professionals are expert at evaluating platforms and recognizing where they will be of service. But their sidelong look is sizing up where they need to use current technology and overcome current challenges.
SCADA professionals integrate technology into their everyday work lives if:
- Platforms are able to cross the chasm for interoperability.
- Technology is easy to use.
- Technology lives up to the promise of great value.
- Platform is highly reliable.
Along with their IT counterparts, SCADA professionals are eager to incorporate tools that provide better connectivity to their field assets. They take advantage of next-generation field assets, including the edge components that provide a solution for legacy investments, but the connectivity expectations don’t stop there.
Today’s IIoT solutions are very progressive to break down the walls built around information silos. Without inflating the cost of on-premises installation, SCADA and IT professionals know exactly how to provide easier access to shared information. As industry requirements evolve, the cloud storage will also provide a solution for any potential shift in data storage or access requirements.
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF TODAY’S IIoT
If the objective of IIoT is to deliver on ease-of-use and speed to implementation, then an optimal choice is to build around viable platforms from a trusted third-party source. You can obtain a broad, shared experience from third-party partners to help ensure continued capability expansion. The same principle applies for solutions built around connectivity, analytics, machine, asset anomalies, etc. New solutions for data visualization will provide the ability for an immediate response for an intuitive stimulus.
It is eagerly awaited to see what industrial teams do, once they have embraced innovative technology behind IIoT. But someday, IIoT will be fully embraced by SCADA professionals. They hold experience in maximizing technology shifts for decades. They work towards reducing the cost in moving the world’s energy, production, improving communications and handling growing infrastructure. The IIoT might seem like an overnight miracle for those who are newly aware of it, but it has been an important part of SCADA professionals for years and now it is up to the industry to catch up.