This past weekend marked World IoT Day, and this week industry leaders and influencers are gathering to discuss developments at the Industrial Internet of Things Summit in Chicago. Our partner Bit Stew Systems joined in on the conversation. The Bit Stew blog team sat down with Alex Clark, Chief Software Architect at Bit Stew, to talk about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the resulting data integration challenge that is leaving many industrial enterprises feeling like they are drowning in data. In the interview, Alex talks about the heavy-lift involved in supporting data management strategies that can handle the data that is being generated by information systems, operational systems and the extensive networks of sensors. Alex shares his insights on the technology that is key to solving the impending data integration problem at scale.

Bit View: How do you define the Industrial Internet of Things at Bit Stew?
AC: The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network connection of physical objects, or “things” across existing communication infrastructures. The IIoT is the same thing but on an industrial level where the value, volume, variety, velocity and veracity of data is more critical. The challenges are compounded by the complexity and scale of data being ingested in industrial environments. Although the challenges are greater, the opportunities the IIoT presents are more prevalent. The technologies behind the IIoT have brought significant advancements to industries such as manufacturing, oil & gas, aviation, energy, and others.

Bit View: Describe the challenge that industrial enterprises are dealing with?
AC: Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, and the number of connected devices will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. Newly connected devices are coming online within networks at an alarming rate, and most of the effort has been focused exclusively on data generation. Developments have been hindered by challenges in handling the data as well as in the disparity of data characteristics such as quality, completeness and timeliness. Another issue is that industrial organizations often have multiple, siloed legacy systems producing data in different formats and protocols, which do not communicate with each other. Integrating this vast amount of dissimilar data into a unified data strategy is proving to be overwhelming for even the largest organizations and we are seeing this first-hand.

Bit View: How is data integration blocking progress on the transformations and ROI that companies originally envisioned?
AC: Data integration has become the Achilles’ Heel of the IIoT and is blocking progress on the transformations and ROI that companies had hoped for. Data integration can account for more than 80% of project costs and are the primary factor in lengthy delays, and cancelled or failed projects. In fact, Garter reports that 50% of projects will exceed budget, or fail to deliver expected benefits due to inadequate data integration tools and architecture. Our industrial customers are concerned about these major challenges, complexities, costs and delays in integrating the diverse technologies, devices and proprietary solutions.

Bit View: What are some common mistakes organizations make with their data integration strategies?
AC: Implementing an IIoT architecture can be a daunting task. Industrial enterprises often prematurely make investments in open source architecture, business intelligence tools, analytics products, or ETL processes for their data. These traditional tools are not necessarily designed for the IIoT. Solving the data integration challenge requires a new way of thinking and approach. The only way for an industrial organization to come around the curve and efficiently capitalize on the exponentially growing data in industrial environments is through a software solution that is purpose-built for the Industrial Internet. Buying a product that comes with a robust partner ecosystem of integrators, OEMs, and resellers is also an integral step in planning the IoT roadmap.

Bit View: What is the key to Bit Stew’s ability to solve the data Integration challenge for the IIoT?
AC: Bit Stew offers a comprehensive and end-to-end approach to data integration – an approach that is purpose-built for the IIoT. The key to Bit Stew’s data integration capability is our MIx Core™ technology – a data integration kernel that supports Machine Intelligence, an area of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that uses machine learning algorithms, reasoning algorithms and methods for automated detection and integration of data sources from any device and system. Bit Stew’s Mlx Core platform applies a schema first approach that allows industrial enterprises to integrate data rapidly by removing the heavy lift of data wrangling. Another key to Bit Stew’s data integration capability is that Mlx Core automates the data modeling and mapping of data from billions of endpoints enabling you to intelligently manage your data in wristwatch time.

Watch the video interview with Alex to hear more of his insights on how a Purpose-Built IIoT Platform can solve the data integration challenge for the IIoT.


Other Resources from Alex Clark

About Alex Clark
Alex’s 15-year career has made him a seasoned data architect and leading expert in web service technologies, global class computing, and building high-performance, secure, scalable and distributed architectures. He is responsible for developing the initial software that has evolved into MIx Director and is an expert in real-time systems and data integration. In his current role as Chief Software Architect at Bit Stew, Alex leads the R&D function and collaborates on the evolution of the product roadmap. In this position, he combines his extensive experience in the utility industry with his deep knowledge of software design.