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Impact of Industrial IoT in Digital Transformation and Business Models

The Industrial Internet of Things brings together analytics, machines, cloud computing, and people to enhance the performance of different industrial processes. Furthermore, with IIoT, companies can transform business models and increase productivity with IIoT. Also, IIoT has continued to play a significant role in digital transformation.

What is Industrial IoT?

Industrial Internet of Things refers to the integration of IoT in industrial sectors and applications. IoT helps enterprises and industries to operate better. Also, it helps ensure reliability in the operations carried out in industrial sectors. The Industrial IoT comprises industrial applications such as medical devices and robotics.

Furthermore, industrial IoT goes beyond internetworking of devices linked with the IoT. Therefore, one can simply say that the industrial IoT integrates data from sensors and machines to improve industrial processes. Predictive maintenance is one good example of industrial IoT. Also, Industrial Internet of Things is widely used across industries like manufacturing, aviation, transportation, and other industrial sectors.

It covers several industries and applications just like the Internet of Things. Also, Industrial IoT plays a crucial role in converging IT and Ot. Therefore, Internet IoT offers several opportunities in intelligent manufacturing, smart industry, and automation optimization.

Industrial Internet of Things brings together analytics, machines, cloud computing, and people to enhance the performance of industrial processes. Companies can transform business models and increase productivity with IIoT.

The Industrial IoT works just like the Internet of Things (IoT). Internet of Things describes physical objects embedded with software, sensors, and other technologies. These technologies are connected by a network, enabling them to transmit data with other systems and devices.

The operational technology (OT)and information technology (IT) make industrial IoT distinct. OT involves networking of industrial control systems and networking of operational processes. OT and IT convergence offers industries with advanced system integration as regards optimization and automation. Also, it offers enhanced visibility of logistics and supply chain.

The integration of actuators and smart sensors has made the control and monitoring of physical infrastructures in industrial operations easier.

Roles of Industrial IoT Across Major Industries


The Industrial Internet of Things takes a center stage as part of an integrated approach. Also, IIoT is the most important and biggest part of IoT. It plays crucial roles in several industries and sectors.

Manufacturing industry

From an IoT spending perspective, the manufacturing industry is the largest. Manufacturing operations recorded an IOT spending of $102.5 billion. The manufacturing industry is the largest industry in the IoT with an aggregate spend of $178 billion. Manufacturing operations are more than IoT use case investment in several industries. According to the IDC, the maintenance & field service and production asset management are the two important IoT use cases in manufacturing.


From an IoT spending perspective, the transportation industry is the second largest market. Also, transportation firms are seeking ways to increase the value chain with monitoring systems and advanced communication enabled by IoT.  The transportation industry spent &78 billion on IoT and this spending will continue to grow.

Furthermore, freight monitoring is the primary use case in transportation. This is great for a large majority of aggregate transportation IoT spend. The increasing emergence of connected logistics reality and a digital supply chain is evident in the overall IIoT evolutions. At the same time these are challenges for transportation and logic market.

Energy and utilities

The energy and utilities market is a major part of the Industrial IoT market. According to IDC, from an IoT spending perspective, utilities are the third industry. Smart grid for gas and electricity accounted for a huge $57.8 billion.

The industrial IoT plays a crucial role in the digital transformation. Smart grids are important in supply and network distribution.

Main Applications of Industrial Internet of Things

Industrial Internet of Things is very important in several businesses. The integration of IIoT is becoming a global trend in businesses.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance involves identifying the need to maintain a machine before problems occur. If there is any need for maintenance, production will stop immediately. Therefore, it is important to adopt data acquisition, analysis and management system. This system works via sensors that send alerts when some particular risk factors occur.

For instance, the sensors that control robots or the machines that submit data to platforms apply advanced algorithms. These algorithms issue warnings as per vibrations or extreme temperatures that are above normal parameters.

Quality control

Industrial Internet of Things is widely used in monitoring manufactured products’ quality at any production stage. It monitors the raw materials used, the transportation method, and the reactions of final consumers after receiving the product.

This information is very crucial when applying changes when case failures are identified. Also, the main purpose of quality control is prompt detection of issues in the manufacturing chain. Furthermore, it is crucial to prevent certain risks in industries like food or pharmaceutics.

Automated management of equipment

The automated management of equipment enables a system to remotely monitor and control all company processes. Also, the ability to use digital software and machines to remotely monitor equipment shows that you can control several plants at various geographic locations.

Therefore, this helps companies to monitor advances in their production. Also, companies can analyze historical data they get as regards to their processes. The main goal of utilizing the data is to improve processes and generate an environment that prioritizes information-based decisions.

Other Use Cases of Industrial IoT

  • Connected logistics
  • Livestock monitoring and smart farming
  • Manufacturing equipment monitoring
  • Asset performance management
  • Energy consumption optimization
  • Smart grid and smart metering
  • Industrial security systems
  • Smart warehousing and smart factory applications
  • Smart logistics and asset tracking
  • Industrial security systems
  • Remote maintenance, field service, and control use cases
  • Smart environment solutions

Advantages of Industrial IoT

Increased operator productivity

Industrial Internet of Things can enhance the manufacturing workforce’s productivity in several ways. Also, operators can work faster without having to compromise quality with the use of IIoT enabled tools. For instance, operators can easily find the piece they want by using the pick-to-light devices. Also, an IoT enabled tool like the torque driver can enhance work adjusting the settings of the tools.

Minimizes quality management systems cost

It is difficult to adopt and maintain the quality management system (QMS). Also, Industrial IoT can minimize the cost of QMS by streamlining and automating the process control plan. With the use of sensors, organizations can check variables that are crucial to quality. Therefore, this reduces the resources and tine needed for QMS. Also, organizations can streamline the process by using IoT sensors instead of performing quality inspections manually.

Improves machine utilization

Industrial Internet of Things helps organizations to link their machines to the internet. Also, this allows organizations to monitor their machines. They can measure critical KPIs like overall process effectiveness and overall equipment effectiveness. Organizations can detect and fix unplanned downtime by tracking these metrics. Also, it could offer preventive maintenance and as such increase the machine use during the operation.

Production visibility

Industrial Internet of Things connects tools, sensors, and machines to offer the needed visibility into production. For instance, organizations can track parts automatically while moving through assemblies utilizing sensors like break beams and RFID. Also, Industrial IoT use can offer plant managers and supervisors a real-time view of the result of their team. This visibility level can help organizations to detect bottlenecks and find the cause of the problems.

Other Benefits of IIoT

Faster improvement cycles

Operators, manufacturing engineers, and process engineers all benefit from industrial Internet of Things. Also, operation engineers will have to collect and analyze data manually without industrial IoT. Therefore, an industrial IoT helps them to automate collection of data.

Ensures predictive maintenance

IIoT devices enables predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance helps organizations to utilize real-time data from IIoT systems to know when to service a machine. Therefore, this helps to perform the necessary maintenance before failure happens. Also, an organization will be able to achieve improved operation efficiency by addressing maintenance issues on time.

More efficient field service

This is another benefit of IIoT. With IIoT technologies, field service technicians can detect possible issues in equipment before they cause further issues. Therefore, technicians can fix the issue before they become a big problem to customers. Also, IIoT technologies can provide these technicians with vital information about the parts that need repair.

Asset tracking

Asset management systems can help customers, manufacturers, and suppliers to track the condition and location of products. Also, this system helps stakeholders to know if the goods are damaged. The system achieves this by sending instant alert once it detects any damage or risk of damage. Therefore, this helps to adopt immediate measures to solve the problem.

Enhanced customer satisfaction

With IIoT, manufacturers can analyze and capture data on how customers utilize their products. Therefore, this enables product designers and manufacturers to design more customer-centric approach. Also, industrial internet of things offers operational efficiency in manufacturing.

Industrial Internet of Things Enabling Technologies

There are several technologies that enable industrial IoT. These technologies include cloud computing, machine-to-machine, 3D printing, and edge computing. We will be discussing the most important technologies.

Edge computing

This is a computing paradigm that makes computer data storage much closer to where you need it. Also, edge computing is the processing of decentralized data at the edge of the network. Furthermore, the industrial internet needs edge-plus-cloud architecture to improve performance, services, and products in the industrial world.

Cloud computing

You can upload resources and retrieve the internet with cloud computing IT resources and services. Also, you can keep files on cloud-based storage systems.

Radio frequency identification (RFID)

RFID offers a low energy and simple option for connection bootsrapping, and identity & access tokens. Also, this technology integrates a radio transmitter-receiver to track and identify tags related with objects. The integration of RFID technology is very diverse and broad. Also, RFID tags are mainly used to make objects interact with each other. Banking, manufacturing, and logistics are among the industries that integrate RFID IoT solutions.

Cyber-physical systems (CPS)

CPS is the fundamental technology platform for IIOT and IoT. Therefore, it is the main technology that helps to link physical machines that were initially disconnected. Also, CPS incorporates the dynamics of the physical process similar to software and communication. Therefore, it offers design, abstractions and modeling techniques.

Low energy wireless

The major concern for IoT developers is power. Although you can power down sensors and other peripherals for longer time, communications, especially receivers need to remain in listening mode. Also, low-energy wireless extends the lifespan of the device and reduces consumption. Low energy wireless also minimizes the inconvenience and cost of replacing the batteries or the device.

The Major Challenges of Industrial internet of Things


The Industrial IoT faces some challenges despite its significant growth. These challenges include:

Data analysis

Data analysis is a never-ending challenge of transferring data to business value. One way to integrate IoT solutions in industrial sectors is to provide tools for data visualization, analysis, and acquisition. These include human-machine interfaces, cloud-based analysis tools, and sensors.

Furthermore, data analysis is crucial in making this huge amount of data generated every minute through rapidly increasing number of embedded systems and sensors.

Lack of skills

Lack of skill is one of the challenges faced by Internet IoT. Inadequate access to the right expertise and skill is a challenge. The skill gap is one of the challenging issues and how to address it. Microsoft’s 2019 Signal report revealed that 29% of organizations hold off on IoT adoption due to lack of resources.


One of the major challenges faced by Industrial IoT is how to secure industrial IoT devices. The security problems for Industrial IoT technologies are a major concern as any security breach impacts both organizations and individuals that are prone to operational  efficiency and financial damage. The majority of cybersecurity protection tools mainly focus on cloud and network. However, they miss OTA vulnerabilities. A suitable architecture can help to control security risks. Also, this architecture will ensure that the functionality of the automation system is in cloud or hardened edge computing environment.

Patch management

This is a great challenge as regards IIoT devices. Device manufacturers are now providing periodic firmware updates. Also, organizations need to have a good means of evaluating devices to determine the most recent firmware installed. Furthermore, this kind of tool must work according to maintenance schedule of an organization. This is necessary to avoid disrupting operations.

How to Optimize Industrial Internet of Things Projects

Build partnerships

Collaborations between IT and OT are very important. Also, the business decision makers need to get involved in these processes. Therefore, form partnerships and work with both external and internal parties.

Clarify ROI and business outcomes

Most IoT experts often state that the benefits of the business aren’t clear enough. An Industrial Internet of Things usually begins with an idea, an opportunity or need that is already detected. However, the business case must be clear enough.

Start small

This is a good approach in the Industrial Internet of Things projects. Starting small always gives room to detect failures and amend any mistake.

Security first

Security is very crucial. Also, security by embedded security and design is necessary. It is very important to integrate security as early as possible. You should look at security from a perspective in which there are several components involved.

Architect for analytics

There are data integration problems. It is all about turning data into action, insights, and automation in your industrial IoT project. You will need to utilize analytics to transform data into insights.  

How Enterprises and Industries should Secure the Industrial IoT

Security is crucial in Industrial internet of things. With the use of several sensors and real time data generated, businesses can be more viable when OT connects to the internet. However, the failure to invest in cybersecurity could cause a lot of loopholes. Therefore, security by design and embedded security is critical.

Manufacturers once designed IoT devices without really considering security. Therefore, this resulted in the belief that IoT devices can be insecure. The similarities between IoT and IIoT devices can make one to start considering the safety of IIoT devices. Just like other connected devices, it is crucial to evaluate IIoT devices on a device-by-device.

It is possible the device of a manufacturer is secure while some devices aren’t. Security is of utmost importance among device manufacturers. Some technology companies like IBM, Cisco, and General Electric established the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) in 2014. The primary objective of this group is to enhance Industrial Internet of Things adoption. The other working groups of IIC include Industry, Liaison, and Technology.

Security is the greatest risks associated with IIoT. Therefore, IIoT devices keep using default passwords. Many IIoT devices transfer data clearly. This makes interception of data coming from IIoT devices easy. An attacker could can take advantage of insecure IIoT devices and use it to launch an attack.

Security is indeed a very big challenge for people who are in charge of the IIoT devices of an organization. So is device management. It becomes more crucial to implement a great device management strategy if an organization integrates more IIoT devices.

Organizations can identify IIoT devices in order to prevent the utilization of rogue devices. Furthermore, it is crucial to create ways of identifying individual device.

Differences between IIoT and IoT

IIoT and IoT both share some technologies like machine-to-machine communications, sensors, and connectivity. However, they serve different purposes. Internet of Things connect devices across several verticals like healthcare, consumer and utilities. Also, IoT devices comprise fitness bands, smart appliances, and other applications.

On the other hand, industrial Internet of Things offer connection to devices and machines in industries like utilities and manufacturing,. There can be high-risk situations due to downtime and system failures in IIoT deployments. Also, the applications of industrial internet of things are majorly concerned with improving safety or health and improving efficiency.

Also, IIoT offers industrial data. This industrial data is beneficial to industries that depend on IIoT. The automotive industry has witnessed great development due to the impact of IIoT. Furthermore, IIoT has contributed to digital transformation. Providing industrial data and ensuring energy management are crucial for digital transformation. With proper energy management, industries can function better.

What is the Relationship Between IIoT and 5G?

5G is the current standard for mobile networks. Also, it has been designed to offer low latency. 5G feature high data transmission speed. It supports download speeds of about 20 gigabits per seconds. The advent of 5G will impact the utilization of IIoT devices. The low latency as well as high throughput of 5G will enable real time data share in devices.

Before the emergence of 5G, real-time data share was only possible when devices on private networks had high-speed connectivity. Also, real-time connectivity is ideal in use cases like smart cities and driverless cars.

Furthermore, 5G can impact the adoption of industrial internet of Things by resulting in device proliferation. Also, industrial operations might utilize several 5G connected devices. The low latency and high data speed of 5G indicates that IIoT devices are ideal for use in remote locations. Previously, IIoT devices were impractical in these areas due to lack of high-speed connectivity.

IIoT Trends and Future

The future of our industrial Internet of Things follows a trend popularly known as industry 4.0 which means fourth industrial revolution. However, the first industrial revolution, industry 1.0 happened in the late 1700s. Also, this revolution occurred as companies started using stream powered and water-powered machines in manufacturing.

In the early 1990s, industry 2.0 began. Also, the second industrial revolution occurred as a result of the introduction of assembly lines and electricity. In the late 1990s, industry 3.0 occurred and was a result of the utilization of computers in the production process.

Moving forward, we are presently in industry 4.0 today. Also, the fourth industrial revolution was a result of the utilization of connected electronic device, especially IIoT devices. Therefore, industrial Internet of Things devices will impact digital transformations, particularly as some organizations try to digitize heir supply chains and manufacturing lines.

Also, big data analytics will integrate IIoT data. Therefore, this will help organizations to identify changing conditions in real time and act according to results. IIoT devices have been existing for several years; the adoption of real-world is still in the early stage. This will definitely change as 5G become more prevalent. Also, more organization will begin to realize the purpose of IIoT and how it can be of great help.


Industrial Internet of Things helps to ensure predictive maintenance and digital transformation. Also, it helps business models in their supply chain. IIoT plays a significant role across the automotive industry, transportation industry, and more.




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