IoT 3 mins read

IIoT: Which comes first – Martini or Bikini?

When it comes to planning your industrial Internet of Things adoption strategy, all you need is a Martini and a bikini…

Bart Schouw Bart Schouw

When it comes to planning your industrial Internet of Things adoption strategy, all you need is a Martini and a bikini…

What do they have to do with IIoT? And which comes first?

You start with your Martini, of course.

Why? To use an analogy, the couple in the 1970s Martini & Rossi advertisement enjoy things “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere.” But today’s manufacturers are struggling to do the same, especially when it comes to connecting their assets and data across the enterprise.

So we will adapt the Martini analogy for IIoT Integration: You need the ability to connect “anything, anytime, anywhere.” I’ll get to the bikini later.

Although manufacturers place a high value on IIoT, they are encountering serious difficulties in unlocking the value of their innovation across their organizations. This is the conclusion of a recent Software AG IIoT survey of over 125 North American manufacturers*.

The vast majority of manufacturers said their IIoT investments are limited by being locked in one small department or sector of their company, preventing them from sharing the power of IIoT across the enterprise. 

We call this a “fractured enterprise” and, in the Internet of Everything economy, the fractured enterprise cannot hope to compete. Half-answers from disconnected enterprise assets result in ill-founded decisions – or business reaction times that are too slow to be effective.

Manufacturers can lose millions of dollars in potential profits as they fall behind more forward-thinking competitors who have invested in predictive analytics and innovative integration strategies to scale IIoT across the enterprise.

Total integration is what makes a fractured enterprise whole, and total integration – on premises, in the cloud and at the edge – is the only way to build successful IoT architectures, landscapes or applications. 

To prepare for IoT, Industry 4.0 or a digital future, the enterprise must integrate, integrate, integrate. It makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

So, what about the bikini? If the Martini is integration, the bikini is analytics. Analytics are like bikinis; what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital (to paraphrase academic Aaron Levenstein!). But don’t start with analytics before integration (a mistake which is often made in IIoT projects). 

What does the IIoT bikini reveal about analytics? Usually, it means that the analytics must stay in the hands of domain experts. Data scientists can help by revealing what is suggestive. But it is the shop floor operator, the product designer, the finance director – those closest to the issue – that can uncover the real operational insights that would otherwise remain concealed.

Martinis and bikinis: A holistic approach to integration and analytics. So, in a nutshell, mix your Martinis before donning your bikinis (although you wouldn’t normally phrase it this way at a management meeting.)

This is Software AG’s approach, integrate anything (from assets to apps to back-end systems), anywhere (from the edge to the shop floor to the cloud). Then add a layer of anytime – streaming, historical, external, internal and time series data analysis and AI – to uncover and reveal the information that will transform your enterprise.

This is why Gartner has acknowledged Software AG as an IIoT “visionary.”

*The Software AG IIoT Implementation survey was completed in Q2 2019 by Software AG and an independent third-party research house.  The survey queried nearly 200 respondents at large manufacturing companies across automotive, heavy industry, high-technology, electronics, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.  The respondents were primarily senior executives leading manufacturing or information technology, with the breakdown being 50% Managers, 38% Directors and 13% Vice Presidents or higher.