The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a technology EVERY asset heavy business should strive to have. Many clients do ask me- We have SCADA and PLC systems, why do we need an IIoT system? For the benefits of the non-technical audience, I liken the difference between SCADA and IIoT to that of Landlines and Mobile phones. Landlines and mobile phones exist for communication purpose. SCADA and IIoT systems exist because of one reason and this is data gathering. The whole idea of installing both systems is to gather data for insights. However, we have seen and are seeing how the mobile phone technology has evolved over the years. A phone now serves as a camera, Radio, Music player and even mobile bank. This is what will be said about IIoT technology in the coming years. Imagine selling your product via an IoT app before you even produce because you are able to forecast your inventory accurately via an app.
A SCADA system is a centralized system; it exists most times in one and for one location just like the land lines but a mobile phone is on-the go. I can use my mobile phone anywhere in the world, all I need do is get a sim card. An IIoT system enables me gather data anywhere in the world. In the early days of mobile technology, the idea of mobile landlines came but it was a hard one to sustain. A SCADA system works via programmed software, an IIoT system learns from data. The idea is for your software team to be able to build apps from the recommendation made by an IIoT system. Today, we have different apps on mobile phones i.e LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook. Already loads of monitoring app exist, I am confident in short time, digital twin will be a market place concept- Imagine having a digital twin of your car. A situation where you are able to tell what is wrong with your car without going to a mechanic. This will leverage the Internet of Things Technology. As the market for mobile telecommunication increased over the years, it did not eliminate or kill the existence of land lines. We still have landlines in our offices and homes. However, almost every company have a CUG line- a mobile phone line. Homes and offices that couldn’t afford a land line because of the initial installation and maintenance costs now have mobile phones.
A SCADA system has specific hardware and software configuration process, most IIoT systems are interoperable and work on a subscription based model which makes it relatively cheap compared to SCADA systems. SCADA system will exist and continue to be around as there will be need for a mix of stand-alone data gathering and also multi source data gathering. Let’s assume you do not have any of a land line or mobile phone and you are to pick the latest Iphone or the latest land line, which would you choose?
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