Digitalization profoundly alters business models and conditions for industries forced to adapt to their markets’ “servitization”. In technical terms, adapting to this change typically involves IoT and a shift to hybrid IT operations. Together they introduce a whole new suite of technical challenges. Data from core backend services, such as CRM, ERP and PLCM systems need to be integrated with data provided by new “things” and cloud services that an organization utilizes in production, in field services or on customer sites. In such scenarios, traditional system integration models often fail. This is due to a number key reasons:
- Event management: services need to react to events triggered by massive amounts of heterogeneous messages generated by large numbers of connected devices.
- Big data and data analytics: requirements on analytics of (Big) data in transit as well as at rest reaches a new level.
- Configuration management: controlling the state and configurations of connected device managers from a central point becomes crucial to make the system manageable. S
- Service discovery and dynamic onboarding of new device types: New device types need to be recognized and addressed at run-time.
- Edge computing: to ensure data processing takes place as close to the source as possible – to maximize performance and to avoid unnecessary traffic – the integration platform must have the ability to delegate processing to connected devices whenever their capabilities allow the system to do so.
- Information security and API management: the integration of information assets from so many sources – possibly for multi-tenancy consumption – creates a whole new suite of demands on robust information security.
- Machine learning and AI: to serve its purpose, the system typically needs the ability to become “smarter” based on feedback from past events.
IoT platforms and hybrid integration platforms emerge as new technology domains are created aimed at solving these problems. Data Ductus helps clients take advantage of these new technologies and to navigate on a market still lagging with regard to standardization and best practice frameworks. In solution design, Data Ductus closely follows the emergence of IoT reference architecture models, such as:
- The Reference Architecture Model Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0) [German Industie 4.0 standard]
- Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) [www.iiconsortium.org]
- Internet of Things—Architecture (IoT-A) [resulting from European commission funded initiatives, www.iot-a.eu]
- Standard for an Architectural Framework for the Internet of Things (IoT) [standards.ieee]
- Tthe Arrowhead Framework [academic European best practices framework, www.arrowhead.eu].
More important, however, are the lessons learned from our own practical experience which we can share and utilize in different industry scenarios. See for instance the E.ON Case study.
Data Ductus primarily offers these services to clients in industries such as Energy & Utilities, Automotive, Manufacturing, Transportation, and Mining.
- Avoid pitfalls in a rapidly evolving domain where experience is key. Data Ductus offers a rich frame of reference to help clients find optimal solutions.
- Enable continued agile business development based on a platform that simplifies – and partly automates – the generation of service interfaces which vertical applications can consume.
- Develop a robust technical solution with quick initial first deployment and continued support throughout its life-time.
Data Ductus advisory services help clients plan and organize IoT platform and hybrid integration initiatives, to purchase and jump-start the implementation of suitable software solutions. To help clients get started, Data Ductus offers a suite of workshops aiming at creating a first pilot, see the Packaged Services section further down on this page.
Data Ductus implements the platform, integrates existing backend systems, IoT and cloud services, configures and optimizes the system for initial deployment to production. Data Ductus thereafter offers continued maintenance and support services to guarantee the service delivers value and supports continued development throughout its life-cycle.