Articles, Automation, Business Models, IIoT

What we mean by an open Internet of Things (IoT)

For Siemens, reinventing ourselves into the one of the world’s top-10 software companies isn’t about hype – it’s about serving customers. We’re in this to help industrial leaders drive forward three goals that matter most to them: reducing costs, improving reliability and increasing productivity.
We also know that, while no two digital strategies are the same, each one shares the same foundation: It all begins with connecting data from machines and the operating environment to an industrial cloud platform.
Using MindConnect, our team can accomplish this critical first step very quickly, sometimes within a matter of minutes. It’s the next step though – leveraging our IoT operating system, Mindsphere – that will really drive results. This is where data become knowledge … and where knowledge becomes value.
But there’s still more to it, which is what I’ll talk about at the Industry of Things World USA Conference in San Diego. My main point today will be that embracing a culture change within your company is ultimately as important as embracing new technology. Transitioning to a data-driven business model will drive value for every organization. Yet the companies that get the most value out of IoT will be those that take it a step further by working together to create an open ecosystem.

Open does not mean free. It does not mean open source.
Open means open connectivity that enables different assets, devices and systems to seamlessly connect to the IoT regardless of origin or age.
Open means an agnostic cloud provider infrastructure, but with all the know-how and vertical domain expertise build on top of this platform.
Opens means open development. The platform has common application programming interfaces and development tools that all users can access to both build and integrate new software applications and services.

We know this is a significant change. Most of us came up in an industrial world in which proprietary systems and software comprised the standard business model.
But this world is different. At this early stage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – for now, only 3 percent of global factories are monitoring data – there are no experts. Getting beyond the hype and creating real business value requires us to figure this out together – which is exactly what an open IoT ecosystem enables industrial leaders to do.
When you have more users on a platform like Mindsphere, you have more energy going into developing cloud applications that are relevant and user friendly for a plant floor supervisor, building manager, train operator, or critical infrastructure specialist.
Think of the way a smartphone user opens an app to make a data-driven decision within seconds – except Mindsphere apps will be designed specifically for industry.
When you have more cloud applications, you have more knowledge. And when the system is open, that knowledge grows and new tools start coming online in hours and days instead of in weeks and months. That’s how data-driven business models start feeling intuitive rather than complex, and how we’ll start seeing more customers optimizing asset utilization, switching to predictive maintenance schedules, and discovering new ways to run their business.
For more information on MindSphere, please see

About the author:

Jagannath Rao is the global lead and SVP for the IoT and Go to Market strategies for the Cloud Application Services business unit in the Digital Factory Division for Siemens. He is responsible for directing and growing the data driven services business (IIoT) which includes MindSphere, the Big Data platform technology for all of Siemens for Digital services. The portfolio includes the widespread application of “Big Data” technologies in the realm of manufacturing, covering topics such as plant analytics, asset analytics and other digital serivces.
Rao first joined Siemens in 1985 as a trainee engineer in Chennai, India, and has worked in India, Germany and Singapore before moving to his current position in the U.S. With more than 30 years’ experience, and degrees in electrical engineering, knowledge engineering and a MBA, Jagannath shares his leadership perspective in various advisory board roles.
Board responsibilities include the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business, Center for Services Leadership as member of the Advisory board, the Advisory Board at the University of Georgia – Athens, College of Engineering and the Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Bio-Medical Engineering, Advisory Board.