Transform to Industry 4.0 Tech talk Part 1

November 17, 2021

As we have discussed in the Transform industry 4.0 article, the technologies and tools required for Industry 4.0 transformation are diverse and interoperable between many technologies components.

Many technologies development companies have gathered a group of such tools to provide services in one platform to help accelerate digital transformations.

Microsoft, for the second year in a row, has been positioned as a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT Platforms, placed furthest on Completeness of Vision and highest on the Ability to Execute.

Who is Gartner?

Founded since 1979, Gartner is the world's leading information technology research and advisory company. They deliver the technology-related insight necessary, through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting, and Gartner to research, analyze and interpret the technology/business of IT within the context of their role.

Gartner description

Market Definition/Description

Gartner defines the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) platform market as a set of integrated software capabilities to improve asset management decision making within asset-intensive industries. IIoT platforms also provide operational visibility and control for plants, infrastructure, and equipment.

IIoT Platform Capabilities

The IIoT platform is composed of the following technology functions:

  1. Device management — This function includes software that enables manual and automated tasks to create, provision, configure, troubleshoot and manage fleets of IoT devices and gateways remotely, in bulk or individually, and securely.
  2. Integration — This function includes software, tools and technologies, such as communications protocols, APIs and application adapters, which minimally address the data, process, enterprise application and IIoT ecosystem integration requirements across cloud and on-premises implementations for end-to-end IIoT solutions. These IIoT solutions include IIoT devices (for example, communications modules and controllers), IIoT gateways, IIoT edge and IIoT platforms.
  3. Data management — This function includes capabilities that support:
  • Ingesting IoT endpoint and edge device data
  • Storing data from edge to enterprise platforms
  • Providing data accessibility (by devices, IT and OT systems, and external parties, when required)
  • Tracking lineage and flow of data
  • Enforcing data and analytics governance policies to ensure the quality, security, privacy and currency of data
  1. Analytics — This function includes processing of data streams, such as device, enterprise, and contextual data, to provide insights into asset state by monitoring use, providing indicators, tracking patterns and optimizing asset use. A variety of techniques, such as rule engines, event stream processing, data visualization and machine learning, may be applied.
  2. Application enablement and management — This function includes software that enables business applications in any deployment model to analyze data and accomplish IoT-related business functions. Core software components manage the OS, standard input and output or file systems to enable other software components of the platform. The application platform — for example, application platform as a service (aPaaS) — includes application-enabling infrastructure components, application development, runtime management and digital twins. The platform allows users to achieve “cloud scale” scalability and reliability, and to deploy and deliver IoT solutions quickly and seamlessly.
  3. Security — This function includes the software, tools and practices facilitated to audit and ensure compliance. It also establishes preventive, detective and corrective controls and actions to ensure privacy and the security of data across the IIoT solution.

Considering the above information, Gartner addressed Microsoft as follows:

Microsoft is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant with Azure IoT, a set of services delivered on the Azure platform. Azure IoT capitalizes on Microsoft’s broader platform and offers cloud, edge and hybrid deployment options. Azure IoT services can run on-premises and Azure IoT edge solutions offer architecturally secure isolation through a hierarchical deployment approach. Azure IoT delivers development and solution accelerators, including both MLOps and DevOps specifically for IoT, and can replace some OT building blocks such as historians. Microsoft capitalizes on the domain expertise of partners such as Accenture, Infosys and PwC. Customers also have access to the broad Microsoft offering and a marketplace for third-party software.


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