Gartner recently released its first-ever Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT (IIoT) Platforms —a report surveying the emerging IIoT market and defining IIoT platforms with specific must-have capabilities.
At PTC, we’re obviously pleased with our strong position on the Magic Quadrant (MQ). Beyond earning validation of our IIoT strengths by a respected analyst firm, however, there are other important reasons to be enthusiastic.
One clear benefit is clarifying exactly what IIoT is (and isn’t)—both in the context of IoT vs. IIoT platforms, as well as IIoT vs. legacy manufacturing asset and performance systems. With regards to the latter, IIoT isn’t a complete departure from legacy systems like MES and EAM; instead, IIoT focuses on replacing static point solutions with a flexible platform that can address an infinite range of issues. It’s analogous to comparing the telephone systems of the 1950s with today’s wireless networks. Sure, they’re both there ostensibly to place a phone call, but infrastructure advancements helped redefine capabilities until the new technology barely resembles the former.
In their inaugural IIoT MQ, Gartner references an area that illustrates the difference between IIoT and legacy industrial applications: IIoT’s growing impact on asset management.
According to a report issued by the International Society of Automation, asset downtime robs manufacturers of 5% of their productivity annually. In 2013 dollars, that translated to $647 billion in global downtime-related costs. If downtime is damaging to a manufacturer, unplanned downtime can be crippling. And downtime challenges are exacerbated by economic pressures to reduce headcount, along with an aging workforce of skilled technicians that can be difficult to train and replace. The same forces that help ensure lower costs during normal operations wind up compounding costs when operations are disrupted.
The long-held answer to the scourge of unplanned downtime is condition-based maintenance (CBM). CBM can help prevent some downtime, or at least just lessen its impact. In legacy models, the cost of preventative maintenance is high enough to warrant applying a rubric. If the cost of disruption is high enough, then traditional monitoring solutions may be brought to bear to prevent (or more likely reduce) downtime. Gartner is identifying “democratization of asset management” as a key component of IIoT outcomes. At PTC, our experience suggests these features are important because of the following benefits:
IIoT platforms still represent an emerging market, and manufacturers should approach them judiciously. However, good judgement shouldn’t be confused with overabundant caution. Given that asset management is one of a myriad of ways that market-leaders are using IIoT to separate themselves from their competitors, manufacturers should understand that the ground between adopters and laggards is only going to expand. That’s why Gartner’s first Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT is so invaluable, and why we’re making it available to you.