February 25, 2015

Industrial Internet terms explained (part 2/2)

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.

This is the second part of the blog post, the first part can be found here.

Industrial Internet of Things

Every now and then, I hear people referring to Industrial Internet of Things when talking about the Industrial Internet. There is a slight difference in nuance when compared to how we at Tieto define Industrial Internet.

A while back, I met with Accenture’s CTO Paul Daugherty in Dublin and he explained how he sees the Industrial Internet of Things as the subset of the Internet of Things. As I mentioned earlier, Internet of Things is a very consumer-oriented term and Industrial Internet of Things can be seen as an industrial-specific version of Internet of Things. It’s about intelligent machines and sensors and I find this definition precisely focused to the technology point of view of the industry.

Internet of Everything

I find Internet of Everything being very close to my views on the Industrial Internet. It includes smart people, smart machines and smart processes.

Cisco has a more specific take on this, as they talk about intelligence at the borders of the Internet. According to them, the Internet will become fragmented and turn into smart fog instead of a cloud shape. Intelligence at the “edge of the cloud” is also required in many instances: if every device just sent everything directly to the central cloud, we would risk flooding it with too much noise. I agree with this opinion; I don’t think it makes sense for every light bulb to have an IP address and constant link to the cloud at all times – it seems like overkill.

Third Wave of Internet

Industrial Internet applications are increasing at a breathtaking pace, turning the Internet into a wide range of everyday devices as well as manufacturing and other industries.

Known as the Third Wave of the Internet, this revolution will create threats and benefits in all sectors. Our goal at Tieto is to serve as an agent of change for today’s customers to convert the threats into victories and opportunities.

The innovations and apps (such as Tinder, Airbnb, SnapChat, IFTTT, Zapier, and Uber) we see in the consumer side will hit the industrial side as a wave. This wave will change the existing value of networks and positions. This wave offers opportunities as well as challenges, and if you haven’t been part of the transformation before, it’s about time you jump on board.

Industrial Internet making the impossible possible

The Industrial Internet brings a combination of creativity, intelligence and performance to the table. It will enable people to configure all kinds of automation according to their own needs, and thus improve productivity – while being smart about it.

This revolution will enable people to focus on things that matter, instead of having to manage mind-numbing routine tasks. For example, DIY industrial automation (made possible by Industrial Internet) will make it possible for employees at factories to control and program systems on-the-go and focus on the core tasks instead of having to cope with routine. Jobs with High Routine Task Intensity will benefit massively. Machines will take care of the hard work and processing.

To summarize my thoughts, the Industrial Internet will truly make the impossible possible.

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

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