A Clearer Path Forward for the Industrial Internet of Things

What can we expect from the compatibility and interoperability agreement between Plattform Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet Consortium? 

In February, two dominant industrial consortia for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) met in Zurich, Switzerland, to consider the potential alignment of their respective reference architectures. With a successful meeting, Plattform Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) mapped the relationship between elements of the Reference Architecture Model for Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0) and the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) and created a clear roadmap to ensure future compatibility and interoperability. Perhaps it could not be otherwise, and the result is nothing more than the formalization of what was argued emphatically by everyone who has been involved in the Internet of Things (IoT) in an industrial environment. On one hand, each consortium stressed the need to have actual standards that would enable the adoption and dissemination of the technologies involved. The lack of those standards was a profound contradiction to an approach that makes global connectivity, communication and interaction of objects the fundamental concept of IoT. On the other hand, the lack of alignment between the two initiatives was not only detrimental to both, but absurd for all companies (Bosch, Siemens, SAP, Cisco, etc.) that, given their global presence, must be involved in both initiatives. It is also important to consider the speed at which all the technologies involved are developing—speed that makes it extremely difficult and dangerous in an uncoordinated approach.

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