By Santhosh Nair
Today we introduced the latest version of our software platform for the Internet of Things (IoT) – Wind River Intelligent Device Platform (IDP). IDP is targeted at gateways and hubs, providing connectivity, manageability, security and intelligence that enables companies to kick start building applications that will monitor, track and course-correct your machines and systems.
When discussing IDP, it’s important to add some context to illustrate the value that this solution delivers.
The Internet is the single biggest revolution in this century. You have seen how the enterprise, consumer and mobile businesses have evolved in the last two decades. However, industrial businesses have not yet fully leveraged the power of the Internet to create new efficiencies in the market. Industrial businesses support critical infrastructure, commerce and public health, and they are built on technology and business models that aren’t as efficient as they could be. These inefficiencies can translate to large operational costs and waste – primarily because these industries are very capital intensive. Technology has the ability to revolutionize industrial businesses. This is best summarized by General Electric in their Industrial Internet white paper where they discuss “the power of 1%”. Basically, GE puts a $ value to 1% efficiency that can be realized in different markets like aerospace, rail operations, oil & gas, healthcare and infrastructure.
The solution lies in a systematic redesign and retrofit of the current value chain. There are billions of devices that exist today and there are billions more devices that are getting introduced into the market. How do you network these devices, convert them to smart devices and secure the environment in which they operate? Inherently, this market has challenges because of the large volume of installed base equipment that exists. Enter the new industrial gateway – IDP bridges the gap between these standalone embedded devices and the connected ecosystem. The key attributes of IDP are security, manageability, connectivity and intelligence. IDP is aimed toward that industrial gateway or hub that is either designed into a next-generation device or is a retrofit solution for your existing installed base of standalone devices.
Connectivity, as ubiquitous as the technology sounds, is still grossly absent in many industries and many markets. The problem is lack of interoperability. Varying standards, availability of competing technology, heavy customization by specific sectors, standards and regulations that are introduced by various governing bodies, all contribute to this problem. IDP supports key connectivity standards and protocols for wired and wireless devices and enables industry specific add-ons that will customize this secure industrial hub for your specific market.
Device management is even more challenging. A good portion of the operating expenses of industries are spent on this. Having a platform built into your devices that enable remote access, data collection and filtering will help cut down your recurring costs. Building very specific applications in the back end to do remote monitoring, diagnostics, predictive maintenance and analytics will help transform your brick-and-mortar businesses into digital businesses. A key feature of IDP is Secure Remote Management – ability to securely transfer information into and out of your end points.
Without securing your infrastructure, all Internet-based technologies are vulnerable. Security is the biggest challenge in the IoT landscape. Security not just at the application level, but at every layer in the software and hardware is mandatory for reliable digital businesses. IDP enables the gateway and end point devices to be secure from the silicon layer all the way up to the application layer.
As you are thinking about developing or improving your industrial operations, here are a few things to consider:
- Have a system level overview of your offering. Understand the ecosystem in which your systems are deployed.
- Make evolutionary changes to start enabling your installed base to be connected to your back office processes.
- Revolutionize your new product designs, and work with your partners in introducing the latest technologies into your design.
- Focus on your core competencies, build only what adds immediate value to your customers.
The Internet of Things is changing the landscape and Wind River Intelligent Device Platform provides a strong start for companies to begin tackling IoT needs. Keep watch for new developments from Wind River and across our ecosystem, including collaborations with Intel and McAfee. We have exciting things in store.
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