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How to choose IIoT software: Must-have features for any business

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Learn which IIoT platform features are essential and access TechRepublic Premium resources that will simplify your search for the ideal software.

Image: Adobe Stock/KANDA EUATHAM

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is leading the digital transformation in industries such as manufacturing and automotive. With IIoT, businesses can visualize future machine performance through predictive analytics, reduce overhead through automation, and improve processes on the fly through remote monitoring. None of this is possible without a robust tech infrastructure built upon IIoT software.

If you’re working toward implementing IIoT within your enterprise, selecting IIoT software is critical. There are hundreds of IIoT platforms and each one is slightly different from the next, so how do you choose? This following tips and TechRepublic Premium resources can help.

5 key features of any IIoT platform

The best first step is to understand the non-negotiable features of any solid IIoT platform. If an IIoT platform does not offer the following key features, you should proceed with caution.

Edge computing

Edge computing refers to computing that’s completed as close to the data source as possible, including IoT devices. This type of computing is critical because it enables real-time visibility, regardless of how many IoT devices are deployed.

For example, a sensor connected to a machine on an assembly line can be monitored for performance using data at the source. If an issue is found, the sensor can alert maintenance or stop the machine in real-time. Data resulting from the event can be sent to the cloud for proper analysis at a later time.

Device management

IIoT requires the use of IoT devices, including sensors, alarms and more that may be located inside heavy machinery, on moving vehicles or in remote locations. The software must have management capabilities that enable you to remotely access and manage each device.

Remote device management ensures you’re able to push important upgrades to your devices and troubleshoot quickly when those devices go offline.

Machine learning

The key capability of IIoT is to gather data that can be used to improve industrial processes. However, devices and sensors gather an overwhelming amount of data each day. Making sense of the data is something a human simply can’t do. Machine learning (ML) takes over, learns patterns over time, and delivers insights without human intervention.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance uses sensors to predict when maintenance may be required for industrial equipment. By predicting maintenance, businesses can prevent costly unscheduled downtime and increase the lifespan of their equipment.

Real-time data visualization and reporting

Data visualization is the process of translating data into graphic form. Visualization enables businesses to view their data and glean insights from it quickly. The result is improved efficiency when it comes to making decisions.

The IIoT platforms you consider should also include robust reporting tools such as built-in, customizable reports.

Other key considerations about IIoT software

Just like any software implementation, you should consider the platform’s ease of use. The software you choose should be intuitive with a short learning curve. In addition, you’ll need to ensure the platform fits your current tech stack. For example, it will need to integrate seamlessly with your legacy systems.

Another key consideration is scalability. The IIoT platform should be able to scale as you add devices and users. Additionally, you should choose IIoT software that includes robust end-to-end security to protect all users and devices.

Your next step: Download this IIoT software comparison tool

The features discussed above are only scratching the surface of what IIoT software can do. To ensure you select the best platform for your business, you’ll need to dig deeper.

TechRepublic’s Industrial Internet of Things software comparison tool can help you do just that. The TechRepublic Premium resource includes a spreadsheet that enables you to track and compare the features of each software you consider. The tool also includes a simple guide that breaks down what you should look for in a new platform.

Learn more: Download this IIoT quick glossary

As you research IIoT vendors and test solutions, you may come face-to-face with tech terminology that’s difficult to decipher. This handy glossary by TechRepublic Premium is a useful resource to use as a reference.

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