By Brian J Westcott PhD, CEO, Intelligent Structures Inc; Editor of the IIC Journal of Innovation
Today, the Industrial Internet Consortium released the inaugural volume of the IIC Journal of Innovation. We have chosen the theme of Innovation for the Industrial Internet Consortium's Journal because we feel it is an essential element of the mission of the Consortium. The concept of Innovation is used these days to describe almost any new idea, but many times it is used incorrectly. Innovation has a specific economic definition: "...Innovation is the outstanding fact in the economic history of capitalistic society... and is largely responsible for most of what we would attribute to other factors. What dominates the picture of capitalistic life and is more than anything else responsible for our impression of a prevalence of decreasing costs, causing disequilibria, cutthroat competition and so on, is innovation, the intrusion into the system of new production functions which incessantly shift existing cost curves." (Joseph Schumpeter 1939) R. Mueser (1985) defined innovation as: "A new idea, a discontinuous technical event that after a period of time is developed to the point where it is practical and successfully used."
Innovation is a disruptive event which eventually results in a better performing product, process or service. As the innovation evolves from use by just a few to general use, a great deal of education, training and change must occur in organizations. People are forced to give up their old methods, which they understand and are comfortable with, and must learn and accept the new methods. Innovation is a difficult task since it requires overcoming both technical and organizational obstacles but it is necessary for a thriving economy and long term improvement in our quality of life.
It might seem counter to common thought, but some question if we are innovating fast enough at this time. Yes, we have creative entertainment ideas with much of the Internet traffic used for Netflix streaming movies and Facebook friend's updates. However this is not innovation but rather creative entertainment. Real innovation results in higher productivity.
The challenge is placed on the Industrial Internet Consortium to innovate using the tremendous opportunities of the digitization of everything. Innovative products and processes will grow from the opportunities to measure, monitor, analyze and collaborate in ways never before conceived. This is certainly a dynamic event with new technologies developed daily and the emergence of new business models to drive productive use of this technology. Working together we will succeed in putting Industrial Internet of Things technology into practical and successful use.
The hope for the Industrial Internet Consortium Journal of Innovation is that it be a place for thoughtful discussion of new innovative ideas and that it will support the valuable work of the Consortium members to increase the rate of innovation for a more productive and better world. This first edition of the Journal includes great pieces from members including:
- "Three Main Themes in the Industrial Internet of Things" by Shi-Wan Lin, Thingwise
- "Architecting the Smart Grid Using the Industrial Internet of Things" by Stuart McCafferty of SGIP and Brett Murphy of Real-Time Innovations
- "A Horizontal Taxonomy for the Industrial IoT" by Stan Schneider of Real-Time Innovations
- "IIC Business Strategy and Solution Lifecycle: Managing the IIoT Value Chain Transformation" by Dirk Slama of Bosch Software Innovations, Jacques Durand of Fujitsu North America, and Jim Morrish of Machina Research
- "IIC Testbeds -- a Blueprint for Delivering Innovation and Ecosystems" by John O'Sullivan of Cork Institute of Technology
- "A Point-of-View on the IIC Industrial Internet Reference Architecture" by Prateep Misra of Tata Consultancy Services
To download a complimentary copy of the December 2015 edition of the Journal of Innovation, visit www.iiconsortium.org/journal-of-innovation.