How a lack of data visibility is hurting industrial IoT

Though the IoT industry is continually growing, Cypress Envirosystems CEO Harry Sim explains why industrial IoT won't be able to live up to its potential if it cannot solve the data visibility issue.

Can the Industrial Internet of Things live up to the hype?

IoT, by its premise, is data hungry, said Cypress Envirosystems CEO Harry Sim. TechRepublic's Dan Patterson recently met with Sim to discuss how a lack of data visibility can hinder industrial IoT's full potential.

When the Industrial Revolution first began and factories and plants were built, they did not include internet or digital data capabilities. Instead, these older buildings used mechanical devices to measure metrics, and employees manually recorded each device's data.

SEE: How IoT thermostats help companies and governments save money (TechRepublic)

Today, there is a lot of smart software and infrastructure available in the market that can gather data to help run plants and factories, better improving processes and detecting faults, Sim said. So the question is: "How do we get that data to feed into IoT?"

"The software might be there, but if you have no data to feed it, the software can't do anything," Sim said.

Collecting data from these older devices and putting that data into a network is more difficult than it may seem, Sim explained. These devices are connected to tubes and pipes filled with compressed air, steam, or liquids, and replacing them can cost a lot of time and money. This creates an issue for companies, because they have no way to efficiently use the data they collect.

SEE: The Power of IoT and Big Data (Tech Pro Research)

"Unless we solve that roadblock, all that investment in IoT isn't going to be realized," Sim said. "The benefit isn't going to realized, because we don't have that data visibility."

Also see:

Image: iStock/chombosan