Industrial IoT platforms: Make versus buy

Having made the decision to embrace the Industrial Internet of Things, manufacturers are soon confronted with an equally important decision – whether to connect these machines to an in-house IT platform or subscribe to a third-party, pre-built platform.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is ushering in a new era – one focused on the use of data to create insights that deliver competitive advantage.

IIoT is forecast to have a US$200bn market potential by 2021, according to Bain & Company.

Challenged with reinventing themselves as digital enterprises, manufacturers have to make the decision to connect their equipment and systems to an in-house IT platform or subscribe to a third-party, pre-built platform.

This critical question is considered in a new whitepaper that draws on Microsoft’s leadership in computing and cloud technologies and Siemens vast industrial expertise.

The paper discusses the factors that must be considered when making the decision:

  • The need to quickly and easily connect the IIoT platform to machinery on the factory floor.
  • The resources required to build or manage the platform.
  • The security and compliance questions that will arise.
  • The need to future-proof your IIoT initiative to accommodate perpetual innovation and growing complexity.
  • The timelines associated with both approaches.
  • And the imperative of not locking yourself into individual vendors or proprietary standards.

It also explores what prompts manufacturers to opt for either approach, along with some of the associated advantages and drawbacks, and broadens the discussion to examine the role of IIoT in conjunction with cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital twins and other technologies to help manufacturers automate operations and improve performance.

The opportunity to get a head-start is fast evaporating.

As more and more industry leaders begin to plan and execute IIoT strategies, the window to get a head-start and develop a competitive advantage will close.

It’s imperative to move quickly; but that’s easier said than done. It requires expertise across industrial and cloud technologies to implement an IIoT platform, manage the underlying infrastructure, maintain health and performance and add new, innovative capabilities.

This level of know-how can only be learned through real-world, hands-on experience with thousands of hours of trial and error.  Siemens and Microsoft share their vast IIoT implementation experience and more in their new whitepaper.

You can download it here