Wednesday, June 19 2024

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) offerings are technological solutions empowering businesses to connect, manage and analyze data from a multitude of devices and systems within industrial settings, such as manufacturing, energy, transportation, logistics and healthcare.

What are Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms and how do they work?

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platforms are software solutions designed to connect and manage devices within industrial environments, such as manufacturing plants, logistics operations and utility infrastructure.

In these settings, various devices and machines equipped with sensors collect data on parameters like temperature, pressure and motion. The data is continuously gathered in real-time and transmitted to the IIoT platform products using communication protocols like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or cellular networks.

Some products also support edge computing, where data processing happens at the fringe of a network. Edge computing reduces delays, increases data processing capacity and saves on internet usage. For instance, in a smart thermostat, edge computing allows the device to process temperature data locally rather than sending it to a central server.

Once received, the platform stores and organizes the data in a central place like the cloud for easy access and analysis. Analytics tools such as machine learning algorithms and predictive models are then used to inspect the data, identifying patterns, trends and anomalies that can help workers optimize processes and predict maintenance needs.

Based on the insights, automated actions can be triggered, such as adjusting equipment settings or alerting maintenance teams to potential issues. For example, in a manufacturing plant, an anomaly could be identified when a machine’s temperature suddenly spikes, indicating a potential malfunction or overheating issue.

IIoT products can integrate with existing enterprise systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, allowing data exchange across different departments within an organization. The integration ensures that relevant data is shared efficiently, enhancing collaboration and decision-making across the entire organization.

Why is it useful?

IIoT offerings provide practical advantages to businesses in a range of sectors. The data collected enables the detection of inefficiencies, allowing for improvements and productivity enhancements.

The products also support predictive maintenance strategies by analyzing data patterns to anticipate equipment failures. By scheduling maintenance in advance, businesses can avoid costly breakdowns and minimize unplanned downtime.

The offerings can also help optimize resource usage and reduce waste through data-driven insights, including optimizing energy consumption, minimizing material waste and refining production schedules to achieve cost savings.

IIoT platforms contribute to workplace safety by monitoring environmental conditions and equipment performance in real-time, enabling businesses to address potential hazards promptly and ensure a safe working environment for employees.

How do IIoT products differ from each other?

IIoT platforms differ in their industry focus, features, scalability, user experience, support and security measures, tailoring solutions to specific needs. Some prioritize simplicity and ease of use for non-technical users while others offer advanced features for experienced developers. The following summaries are based on customer sentiment across review platforms.

Software AG

Customers state Software AG Cumulocity IoT by Software AG is valuable for scenarios requiring quick decision-making, such as predictive maintenance and optimization in factories, large cities, and supply chain applications. However, some users have encountered challenges with the platform’s integration capabilities with other systems and devices.


●  Scalable as businesses grow

●  Setting up IIoT solutions is fast and easy with pre-configured templates

●  Easily to monitor, control and update your connected devices

●  Gets valuable insights from real-time data

●  Excellent pre-sales team and support in setting up the test use cases


●  Limited customization

●  Connecting with other systems might require extra effort

●  Instructions may not be clear enough for some users

●  Expensive

GE Digital

Predix Platform by GE Digital offers powerful analytics for industrial data but may be difficult to implement and integrate, according to some customers.


●  Extensive support for various industrial protocols

●  Compatible with major cloud providers

●  Flexible deployment options, including cloud and edge

●  No hardware purchase needed

●  Robust security features compliant with industry standards


●  Occasional performance issues during peak usage

●  Slow customer support response times

●  Integration with non-GE devices may require additional effort

●  Limited user ability to improve the system, relying on manual filtering by the supplier


Insights Hub (formerly MindSphere) by Siemens is well-regarded for its comprehensive data analysis capabilities and its user-friendly interface, but customers express pricing concerns and frustration with occasional technical glitches.


●  Uses machine learning and AI algorithms

●  Has an app for data sharing

●  Has integrations with existing validated Good Practices (GxP) platforms (standards for ensuring quality and compliance in regulated industries)

●  Excellent support teams that ensure positive outcomes


●  Limited integrations with third-party software services

●  You may need specific types of operating systems and servers to use all features.

●  Requires frequent upgrades upon rapid data volume growth

●  Expensive

●  Occasional technical freezing with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which can disrupt work


Microsoft Azure IoT Suite by Microsoft has been reported to provide a comprehensive set of tools for IoT solutions, simplifying the development and deployment of connected devices and services. However, users also say that navigating its various features and options can be overwhelming for customers new to IoT technology.


●  Supports edge computing for real-time data processing

●  Scalable architecture with global reach and reliability

●  Extensive, helpful documentation

●  Comprehensive security features with built-in compliance

●  Flexible pricing options suitable for startups to enterprises


●  Hard to set up advanced features

●  Limited support for non-Windows operating systems

●  Occasional service outages affect uptime

●  Requires familiarity with Azure services for optimal use

Amazon Web Services

Customers say AWS IoT Core by Amazon Web Services is most useful when one needs a scalable and secure platform for managing and processing data from IoT devices, particularly in large-scale deployments.


●  Extensive device management and security features

●  Strong support for edge computing and IoT analytics

●  Easy connectivity to AWS Cloud without the need to manage servers or broker services

●  Suitable for processing and analyzing large volumes of IoT device data


●  Not user-friendly for small businesses

●  Documentation may be overwhelming for beginners.

●  Limited support for proprietary protocols

●  Occasional delay issues during peak usage

●  Pricing can escalate with increased usage and data transfer.


Users say PTC ThingWorx by PTC offers easy-to-use IoT development tools. However, customers complain that the offering has occasional reliability issues with its cloud services, affecting performance.


●  Excellent maintenance predictions

●  User-friendly interface and navigation

●  Highly scalable

●  Has built-in rules engine and integration with other services

●  Can segregate servers for enhanced control and organization


●  Connecting with older or non-standard equipment might be hard.

●  Requires significant time and effort to set up and manage

●  Complex manual guides

●  Slow customer support response

Future of Industrial IoT Platforms

The IIoT market is anticipated to expand significantly in the coming years, potentially reaching $3.3 trillion USD by 2030, according to a 2023 IIoT market analysis report by Statista.

The growth is fueled by increased accessibility to affordable processors and sensors, enabling real-time data access and technological advancements. Technological advancements, including wireless networks and smart city infrastructure, are driving IIoT adoption while sophisticated analytics like machine learning and AI empower predictive solutions.

With a focus on efficiency and technological advancements, the IIoT Market presents exciting prospects for industries worldwide.

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