February 24, 2015

Industrial Internet terms explained (part 1/2)

Taneli Tikka

Head of Innovation Incubation, Data Driven Businesses, Tieto

You’ve most likely heard the terms “Internet of Things”, “Industrial Internet”, and “Internet of Everything” being used in various contexts. But what do they really mean? I want to clarify these different terms.

Internet of Things

The term Internet of Things has been around for a while now, and it’s often used when talking about devices such as smart watches, smart refrigerators, and concepts such as smart homes and smart cities.

Ultimately, Internet of Things refers to the infrastructure and connection between physical devices and Internet. These devices are able to identify themselves to other devices.

This is a very consumer-oriented term and is tied into physical devices and technologies. Consider a coffee maker that starts brewing coffee when your phone’s alarm clock wakes you up, or lights that come on automatically once your wearable device notices that you have woken up in the morning. As a concrete example, Google Nest is integrated with the Jawbone wearable, and the thermostat adjusts itself automatically when the wearer goes to sleep.

Industrial Internet

We at Tieto define Industrial Internet as a combination of smart machines, smart people and smart processes working together. It enables new business models, new opportunities, and a restructuring of the value network in many industries. It almost always includes analytics and the actions of users. Picture self-driving mining trucks or complicated factory systems that optimise energy-usage and eliminate waste and inefficiencies throughout the process. Industrial Internet is made possible by the smart machines and devices powered by Internet of Things.

This is my definition: http://youtu.be/CC_3aJMUx5s

I discussed the definition of Industrial Internet with Industrial PRIME a while ago and shared my simple three-step approach to help visualise the Industrial Internet: “sense, think, and act.” I find the following process a great way to explain how smart machines, smart people and smart processes achieve the best possible results by combining creativity and performance.

  1. Sense. With sensors, we can collect data related to the operation of equipment in a production facility (for example). We can also gather information from all existing systems and sources.
  2. When we examine the data acquired, we need to think. We analyse the data and find out what’s going on. Is there a malfunction in the machinery? Is there a lag in process possible leading to the malfunction? Can we predict needs before they become obvious? Here, we discover valuable points of view to the data.
  3. Next, we need to act on the insight that we have acquired. We need to take this insight into action: into processes, systems, and the actions of people and their user experiences they engage with.

This is something Tieto is very passionate about and our aim is to support our clients in the digital revolution. We are engaged in multiple sectors and industries with our clients. It is hard to see a sector that would be untouched by the Industrial Internet.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the blog post, published tomorrow!

Taneli Tikka is Head of Industrial Internet at Tieto Plc. You can read more about him here and follow him on Twitter & LinkedIn.

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