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

Find out which IIoT platform features are important and access TechRepublic’s premium resources to simplify your search for suitable software.

Example of Industrial IoT.
Image: Adobe Stock/KANDA EUATHAM

of The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is driving digital transformation. In industries such as manufacturing and automotive. With IIoT, businesses can predict future machine performance through predictive analytics, reduce costs through automation, and improve travel processes through remote monitoring. None of this would be possible without a strong technology infrastructure built on IIoT software.

If you are working to implement IIoT in your organization, choosing IIoT software is critical. There are hundreds of IIoT platforms out there and each one is slightly different from the next, so how do you choose? The 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 robust IIoT platform. If an IIoT platform does not offer the following key features, you should proceed with caution.

Edge calculation

Edge computing refers to computing performed 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 association line can monitor its performance using data at the source. If a problem is detected, the sensor can alert maintenance or stop the machine instantly. Data from the event can be sent to the cloud for later analysis.

Device management

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

Remote device management ensures you can push important updates to your devices and quickly troubleshoot when those devices are offline.

Machine learning

A key capability of the IIoT is the collection of data that can be used to improve industrial processes. However, devices and sensors collect enormous amounts of data every day. Making sense of the data is something that humans simply cannot do. Machine learning (ML) takes control, learns patterns over time and provides insights without human intervention.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance uses sensors to predict when maintenance is needed for industrial equipment. By predicting maintenance, businesses can prevent costly downtime and extend the life of their equipment.

Real-time data visualization and reporting

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

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

Other key issues about IIoT software

As with any software implementation, you should consider the platform’s ease of use. The software you choose should be intuitive with a short learning curve. Additionally, you need to ensure that the platform is compatible with your current technology stack. For example, it should integrate seamlessly with your legacy systems.

Another key is to consider. An IIoT platform must be able to scale as you add devices and users. Additionally, you should choose IIoT software that includes strong end-to-end security to protect all users and devices.

Your next step: Download this IIoT software comparison tool

The features discussed above only scratch the surface of what IIoT software can do. To make sure you choose the best platform for your business, you need to dig deep.

TechRepublic’s Industrial Internet of Things software comparison tool can help you do just that. TechRepublic’s premium resource includes a spreadsheet that lets you track and compare the features of each piece of software you’re considering. The tool includes a simple guide that breaks down what you should look for in a new platform.

Learn more: Download this quick glossary of IIoT

When researching IIoT vendors and testing solutions, you may come face to face with technical jargon that is difficult to define. This is a useful resource to use as a reference in TechRepublic’s premium handy glossary.

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