On June 17th the Industrial Internet Consortium, with companies like Cisco, Intel, GE and IBM at the core, formally released its IoT Reference Architecture Document, making it available for complementary download. When I wrote about the first public showcasing of the reference model at the IoT World Forum in Chicago in October, the resulting BuildingContext post was among the most popular over the last year. For those working in the building systems integration industry who have long wrestled with the challenge of merging information technology (IT) and real-time operational technology (OT), the concepts contained in the IoT Reference Architecture are great validation of the work already accomplished. Here’s a GIF overlay of the IIC IoT Reference Architecture and the Buildings IoT of today, using the SkySpark Ecosystem that I covered in my last post as an example.
The Buildings IoT industry has other solutions for the 1 through 7 IoT Reference Model Levels as well. The animation is my attempt to convey how the the two models overlay, using graphics from two of my previous posts. There are multiple solutions from the SkySpark ecosystem for each task mentioned, and there are other analytics engines that are at the center their own emerging Buildings IoT ecosystems.
As John Sublett, CTO of Tridium comments in this youtube video, the many unified workflows built atop Tridium platforms are a vibrant part of the emerging IoT:
“When you think about what an IoT architecture is, it is really about device-to-cloud. Today while we have presence in all those layers, our strength is right in that middle tier. It’s where the integration of mobile applications happen. So next for Tridium is perhaps expanding our reach. With all the great tool sets [built on Tridium platforms] there are unified workflows that move down to the device level and up to the cloud. So in one IoT Technology platform, you get this unified architecture and all the power that comes with it.”
In other words, this mapping is a start, not a definitive list. It does illustrate that our industry is leading, not following, in IT/OT convergence. I’d like to hear from more value-added software developers and value-added re-sellers about this rendering. It may be worth filling in the gaps, showing just how vibrant our native Buildings IoT ecosystems are. Otherwise, we may be overlooked. Click here to see the ‘explainer’ video from Real Time Innovations (RTI inc.).