Getting an Internet of Things (IoT) system up and running effectively enough to earn its promise can be a challenge. To help remedy this, the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has created a program designed to stimulate IoT adoption across industry and to help IT and OT users solve real problems as they deploy the technology. Deemed the IIC Accelerator Program, this end-user-based program brings together several initiatives designed to appeal to end users of IoT technology. The goal is to facilitate discussions of challenges among peers and to deliver guidance to help end users solve complex technical problems.

IIC, Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT, IoT, accelerator, end users, Testbeds, end user leadership councils
The IIC has put together a “accelerator” of five programs — some existing and some new — to help end users successfully deploy IoT technology. (Image source: IIC)

Since 2014, the IIC has developed seven foundational documents that have become real-world guidelines for enterprises seeking to adopt IoT technology solutions. To boost the next phase of digital advances, the IIC wants to apply these frameworks, bringing member expertise to industry-specific use cases to help end users. “The program is focused on the acceleration of the IoT adoption. The IIC has produced framework guidelines that have been adopted by enterprise. To accelerate this further, we’re focusing on the end users,” Howard Kradjel, VP of industry programs for the IIC, told Design News. “The goal is to understand IoT needs from the end-user perspective and use that knowledge to understand how to support those users.”

Accelerating End-User Adoption

With the Accelerator Program, the IIC enables technology end users to achieve tangible results by assisting with the process from planning to implementation This includes problem definition, helping to identify technologies, offering a neutral platform for innovation, and delivering pilots. Vendors and systems integrators can use this to develop, test, and offer solutions to end users. “Our goal is to help guide users through their IoT journey.  Most companies have a few security, analytics or deep learning experts on staff, but the IIC has them all,” said Kradjel. “Our neutral platform fosters partnering and supports end users as they solve real problems via our member ecosystem.”

The end-user program is a collection of initiatives. “The program is really focused in five initiatives. Some of which were already in place,” said Kradjel. “The End User Leadership Council was added so we could focus on industry direction. That’s the high level. There is also two elements focusing more on the innovation of the technology.”

The Accelerator Program includes: 

  • End User Leadership Councils – collaborative councils of senior executives representing various industries interested in establishing vision and influencing direction in IoT in an industry and implementing, testing or using IoT solutions in their facilities.
  • Testbeds – experimentation platforms for conducting rigorous, transparent and replicable testing of new concepts, new business models and emerging technologies.
  • Test Drives – short-term, rapid engagements with technology end users that are focused on ideation, technology identification, and partnering to get to a pilot deployment quickly. Test drives reduce uncertainty of technology adoption and intend to produce validated, market-ready solutions to be rolled out throughout an enterprise.
  • IoT Challenges – public contests aimed at solving real problems and advancing the validation of industrial internet applications and solutions.
  • Special Interest Groups – groups of members and non-members created for the purpose of collaboration with essential experts in a particular area of technology. The first SIG is dedicated to Over-the-Air (OTA) Updates and seeks to create requirements for OTA solutions for the automotive and other industries.

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

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