Last week, industry thought leaders came together to discuss everything surrounding edge and IoT solutions during the ZEDEDA Transform event. Several different panelists and sessions occurred throughout the event making for a complete and full agenda for the day.
There were two main breakout sessions. The first one concerned panel topics in the thought leadership track such as how to successfully build an ecosystem for scale, how to innovate with new business models and leveraging technology enablers such as AI and digital twin, among others. Buildings IOT CEO Brian Turner, OTI parent company, was a panelist on the breakout session concerning navigating OT/IT convergence and digital transformation.
Among Turner were moderal Daniel Newman of Futurum, Gary Mintchel of Manufacturing Connection, Mike Fahrion of Advantech, Travis Cox of Inductive Automation and Ginger Smith of Honeywell Connected Enterprise.
When asked how each thought IT has improved over the past two years, the overwhelming response was that it has come a long way by recognizing the importance of OT's work -- but that the relationship between IT and OT teams still something has room to grow within the next few years.
Smith called this recognition and convergence of OT and IT an "OT revolution."
Each panelist spoke about the impacts that COVID-19 has had on the industry and what they thought the future of OT/IT will look like. When asked if there were any positive impacts to come, many said the same thing: COVID-19 has been an accelerator on business trends such as innovation and the need for visual, highly available data. Also, because of the pandemic, the ability to do more with less is a growing mantra and each industry leader believes this way of working will continue post-pandemic.
Turner said he believes once OT and IT do fully converge, cloud integration will be the next frontier, revealing new value to both groups as they find better ways to optimize their operations through integrated data.
The second breakout track centered around "industry-specific solutions unified by ZEDEDA's open IoT Edge Orchestration Platform." Brian Turner joined John Petze of SkyFoundry to present "The Role of Edge Computing in Building Automation."
Petze talked about what a true edge-to-cloud architecture provides, which is data collection, distribution nodes working together in a unified system, a seamless user experience of all distributed systems and maximum flexibility, scalability and reliability to meet real world applications. Overall, edge-to-cloud "requires fundamentally different software technology than provided by pure cloud-based solutions."
Some key challenges for the next era of the IoT, Petze acknowledged, will be greater fault tolerance for data collection, low latency data acquisition and support for applications with constrained networks. All of these challenges can be faced head-on with security that keeps data on premise, reduces costs and provides a seamless user experience.
Turner cited the Belimo Clear Edge as an example of a real-world application of IoT data and analytics architecture because by using ZEDEDA's platform, it can be setup and fully operational before it connects to the cloud.
Petze and Turner closed the presentation by introducing a few benefits of edge-to-cloud architecture including that it is backed by industry-leading technology, it's applicable to many building use cases, the architecture provides the ability to send data to multiple cloud systems and it enables secure connections over customer IT networks.
With the many perspectives on display at the ZEDEDA Transform event, we're excited about the future of the IoT. We'll continue monitoring the industry for the latest innovations in system and cloud connectivity to deliver secure, connected buildings that enable data sharing across systems for a better way of working and managing assets.
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