Frequently Asked Questions

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is a broad based, international consensus-driven organization consisting of large and small companies, academia and government collectively focused on the totality of realizing the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) through requirements identification, testbed experimentation, technical reports and tools delivery to facilitate rapid realization of the IIoT across a broad spectrum of global industries and applications.
The Industrial Internet Vocabulary Technical Report (IIC Vocabulary) specifies a common set of definitions for terms used by all IIC documents. It also provides a common agreed-upon terminology that enables all stakeholders in industrial internet to communicate with each other effectively.
The IIC Vocabulary Task Group under the Technology Working Group is responsible for the IIC Vocabulary. Its participants represent a broad spectrum of the IIC membership and include systems and software architects, business experts, security experts and participants from many of the other IIC working and task groups.
The IIC Vocabulary, like all IIC deliverables, is a living document that will continually represent the latest thinking of the IIC and the IIoT community. The Industrial Internet of Things suite of deliverables from the IIC are addressing every aspect of the emerging IIoT and the IIC working groups are committed to delivering practical, implementable deliverables that reflect new technologies, new concepts and new applications as they emerge.
The IIC Vocabulary provides a common set of terms and their definitions that the diverse set of stakeholders in the industrial internet can use to effectively communicate ideas. The industrial internet brings together a diverse set of population including those involved in OT, IT, networking, software, hardware, system architects, business people and different vertical industries. Different stakeholders have their own set of terms with specific meanings that are not necessarily understood by others. A common vocabulary provides a basis for effective communication within the industrial internet ecosystem.
The IIC Vocabulary contains terms and definitions that are considered relevant and important to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). It adheres to the following principles in this document:
  • The definition of a term provides an in-place replacement for that term in a sentence.
  • A term whose English dictionary definition is considered sufficient is not included.
  • A new definition is created only when that term is not already defined in an existing specification or a standard, such as ISO/IEC JTC 1 International Standard, or whose definition is not appropriate for use in the industrial internet.
  • In selecting appropriate references for existing terms, international standards are preferred over regional or national standards.
The IIC Vocabulary Technical Report is meant for everyone interested in the industrial internet.
Yes. It is meant for anyone and everyone in the field of industrial internet.
The realm of the industrial internet is wide and diverse. It brings together diverse fields and people. Different concepts in different fields sometimes have the same name. This has a potential to cause confusion. Additionally, the industrial internet has some core concepts that mean different things to different people. Without an agreed-upon vocabulary, it is hard to communicate effectively.
This new version of the IIC Vocabulary has the following major updates:
  • It adds new definitions for digital twin and related terms, including digital representation.
  • The definitions for IoT actuator and IoT sensor have been refined for precision and readability.
  • New definitions related to the physical world, including physical entity and physical entity of interest, have been added or modified.
The IIC is committed to publishing technology specific frameworks – such as Industrial Internet Security Framework (IISF), Industrial Internet Connectivity Framework (IICF), Business Strategy and Innovation Framework (BSIF), Industrial Internet of Things Analytics Framework – that collectively comprise the IIC Industrial Internet of Things suite. The IIC Vocabulary is the foundation for this collective body of work and, along with the IIC Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) document, ensures consistency across the breadth and depth of the document suite.
The IIC Vocabulary provides terms and definitions for IIoT. The IIC, through its formal liaisons with various open standards and industry consortia, collaborates through sharing and feedback during the deliverable development process thereby providing bi-lateral and unilateral sharing of requirements and building consensus, resulting in complementary rather than competing guidance and standards.
The IIC Vocabulary is a collaboration of members of the Industrial Internet Consortium. Contributors dedicated their valuable time and expertise in authoring, editing and other ways. The work was performed by the members of the Vocabulary Task Group in the Technology Working Group led by Anish Karmarkar (Oracle). The editors of the document are Anish Karmarkar (Oracle), and Marcellus Buchheit (Wibu-Systems). For a list of authors and contributors please see