Five Critical Challenges Facing IIoT in 2017

FreeWave Technologies predicts major developments in IIoT, from cybersecurity advances to the adoption of HaLow as a widespread wireless protocol.
March 02, 2017

We’re likely to see big changes in IIoT during 2017 as companies deploy wireless system within plants and in the field. As steep IIoT growth continues, issues such as cybersecurity and wireless protocols will become increasingly pressing.

FreeWave Technologies, IIoT, predictions

FreeWave Technologies has released five industrial IoT predictions that cover issues such as the rise of interoperability, business challenges stemming from IT/OT convergence, programmability at the edge, wireless networking standards for Smart Cities, enhanced cybersecurity rollouts, and IoT skills-gap solutions.

The FreeWave predictions are a result of the company’s high-level examination of the IIoT landscape from both technology and business perspectives. “2017 is going to be critical for IIoT innovation and product development,” Scott Allen, CMO at FreeWave told Design News. “The adoption of IIoT technology will be challenging as many organizations also work through digital transformation efforts and the growing skills gap.”


Prediction 1: 2017 will see strong security rollouts thanks to emerging technology

FreeWave Technologies, IIoT, predictions

In 2017, we’ll see more Fog Computing – a decentralized network architecture that brings computing power closer to where data is generated and acted upon. This will enable analysis, control, and automation closer to the “Things” in IIoT. Since Fog Computing reduces the amount of data being sent to the Cloud, cybersecurity will be enhanced by reduced attack surfaces on IIoT networks. In industries where even milliseconds are vital, certain processes will move away from the Cloud and closer to the operation. “Fog computing will enable a security infrastructure that is layered, well thought out, and monitored so you know what’s going on,” said Allen.


Prediction 2: IIoT app development programs will begin to outgrow and outpace consumer IoT app development within the next three years.

FreeWave Technologies, IIoT, predictions

Third party IIoT application development at the edge – Fog Computing specifically – will alter the use of big data and predictive analytics. The ability to filter specific data directly at the source means less of a need to collect all the data for broad analysis. The demand for more apps at the edge and coinciding apps on the IT side of the business, coupled with big opportunities for app developers, will drive the shift from consumer to IIoT apps.

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“The consumer environment proves IoT works and brings value to people’s lives. Now, a lot of that is rolling into IIoT. Construction and industrial settings are requiring workers to wear communication devices that track vital signs in difficult environments,” said Allen. “The sensor explosion in industry is amazing. The IIoT will consume almost everything in IoT. China is pursuing automated oil fields – that’s 50,000 oil wells that have been manual.”


Prediction 3: Recruitment of IoTT talent will continue to be a challenge

FreeWave Technologies, IIoT, predictions

The biggest challenge affecting IoTT talent recruitment is the skills gap – there are not enough qualified applicants to take on new digital-centric IT roles.

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