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The Connected Factory

Bring your factory to life with IIoT and supervisory control and data acquisition enablement.

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  • Your operation isn’t very cautious or knowledgeable about the negative consequences of having products flagged as being non-compliant with regulations.
  • The business is still using a lot of manual paper-based processes such as bankers’ boxes to track, store, and review the quality of your products.
  • You are risking being caught off guard by downstream suppliers if the regulatory bodies conduct a full review of all suppliers’ products/materials/ingredients being used to develop your finished goods.
  • The company isn’t tracking all materials, solvents etc. used within the manufacturing process and may encounter unexpected liabilities or penalties due to residue left on the finished goods products being delivered to the customer.
  • You are risking being left behind as the rest of the industry progresses in this digital and ESG conscious era.
  • Your operation has difficulty tracking and tracing across the supply chain, which is slowing the process of adding new products into the portfolio.
  • Niche players have made your operation more vigilant, and therefore your objective is to modernize your processes so that customer satisfaction ratings from audits will be a benefit over the competition vs. an hinderance.
  • The effects of the pandemic are still apparent within your operation, most notably there is a shortage of labor, acquiring skilled labor is difficult, and there are supply chain disruptions.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Gain real insight into the Regulatory Standards and Certifications necessary for the business, understand the potential cost and impact of non-compliance, and determine which tools should be investigated for strategic improvement initiatives. Transform your compliance business process to future-proof your manufacturing operation’s compliance activities and turn compliance into a competitive advantage.

Impact and Result

  • Identify: The kinds of compliance, certifications, standards, and regulatory activities that are important for your business sector and products.
  • Prioritize: Further determine which tools can be used for tracking and tracing information, for conducting internal audits, and for generating reports for governing bodies.
  • Align: After establishing what technologies are needed for compliance you will form the team in accordance with initial setup and ongoing management of compliance across all suppliers as well as considerations for management of in-transit control processes such as customs and CTPAT.

The Connected Factory Research & Tools

1. Storyboard – Learn why having a connected factory is a pivotal change to the way production activities are performed, managed, and maintained.

Learn about the processes, tools, and technologies that are used to make a real material difference in how your business interacts internally and how the production systems breathe life into the factory.

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The Connected Factory

Internet of Things (IoT) lives at the center of Smart Services, but Industrial IoT is the fuel that enables Manufacturing to connect the factory.

Analyst Perspective

The competitive landscape has become highly charged by the onslaught of new technologies entering the market and SaaS. Many businesses are implementing Cloud First and Cloud Only models, and that has elevated the need for CIOs to broaden their engagement across the business.

This is a glorious time for the astute CIO to enable a foundation for innovation in the business by connecting the Factory with the Business; however, it isn’t easy:

  1. IIoT is the secret sauce for connecting the factory but it brings some unique challenges into focus such as:
    • Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) are complex, proprietary, and plant equipment often lacks support.
    • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software and a Data Strategy are paramount for success.
    • Wired vs. wireless solutions.
  2. Securing the Environment becomes more complex as equipment is exposed to the internet and integrated into the Cloud.
  3. Edge computing puts a premium on reliable partnerships.
  4. IT/OT Convergence is vital for success.

Possibly the greatest challenge of all is the tremendous difficulty associated with identifying, hiring, and retaining the correct talent.

“We’re compelled by the fact that the machines will capture their own information and make their own accurate decisions and do it in real-time. IIoT brings your Factory to Life.”

Kevin Tucker, Principal Research Director

Kevin Tucker

Principal Research Director
Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Logistics.

Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary: The Connected Factory

Situation: Real-Time

Businesses must make timely and accurate decisions. Everything in today’s market is underpinned by this ability.

Dynamic, data-driven decisions can only be enabled through connectivity of the factory.

New models of teamwork are required. In the past, IT and OT were managed as distinct silos within the business. To be holistically connected, silos must be eliminated.

Manufacturing environments still have manual processes and lack the skills and knowledge to enable and manage live interactions.

Complication: Risks

Disruption: Businesses that don’t start planning their connected factory journey now will be running the risk of being disrupted.

Complexity: Manufacturing environments are often filled with a mix of very new and very old equipment, with both proprietary and open connectivity tools, and that creates complexity.

Exposure: Developing a connected factory exposes the business to new threat actors and an entirely new set of skills for both setups and users across the environment.

Solution: Tools & Processes

Use this Connected Factory Advisory Deck to help your business evolution:

  • Reduce your downtime through predictive leading indicators.
  • Measure performance with live data from all equipment in the factory.
  • Improve safety by knowing when systems are likely to fail.
  • Increase operator satisfaction with live information and machine reliability.

Info-Tech Overarching Insight

IIoT is the secret sauce of the factory: Although IIoT will enable the business to capture mountains of live data, it doesn’t serve any purpose without a data strategy that develops the data in dashboards and management reports for live decision making.

The Covid & Business Continuity Marriage

When COVID-19 attacked the world, IIoT became a central player in the quest for resilience in the factory.

The coronavirus outbreak threatened to pop the world as many businesses had paid lip service to the need for resilience across the manufacturing ecosystem. Several new initiatives began to leverage IIoT to solve real world problems.

Develop reliability by getting live machine information for safety, security, waste-reduction, maintenance management, and lowering costs through remote services.

Create resilience through connectivity, cybersecurity, asset optimization, procurement visibility, and live price management.

Manage Strategic Advantage by developing a fully integrated supply chain ecosystem of integrated services and dynamic process optimization.

IIoT became a catalyst for ensuring that companies would have the right information, at the right time, and for the right place. That the information could be developed as tool for protecting the livelihoods of business locations across the global marketplace.

Many years of factory connectivity

Electricity becoming widely available in the 1800’s set the stage for automation

The early 1900’s enabled businesses to go beyond the use of just steam and electricity. The understanding of how to convert analog signals into digital signals set the stage for machines to send and receive information within the factory operation. Along with the onset of data communications came the beginning of machine and sensor-based communications. The early sensors we mainly just capturing information for display on the built-in, machine-based screens and could transfer data to PCs around the mid to late 1900’s.

Game changing IIoT in the 2000’s as the SCADA systems and the internet open up a great new world of opportunity. Early SCADA systems used phone lines and modems to connect factory systems. In the early 2000’s the Industrial Internet of Things became a reality with sensors, equipment, PC’s and live data Dashboards being mounted in factories all over the globe.

The SCADA and IIoT partnership

A SCADA system is a combination of hardware and software components that work together and IIoT enables expansive connectivity

SCADA provided the format for factories to capture every desirable byte of data and to use the data to deliver previously unimaginable results. By implementing sensors that communicated with programmable logic controllers embedded inside as well as using relays, timers, and remote terminal access, businesses could suddenly offer reliability management. Above all they now had the ability to offer worker safety through the real-time monitoring capabilities of SCADA but configurations were very slow and complex.

Traditional SCADA became antiquated as modern SCADA is adapting to leverage the value of the technology boom. The move to real-time IIoT-based systems that leverage the cloud and enable access to data anywhere around the globe and the onset of rapid application development (RAD) has enabled businesses to create personalized human-machine interfaces.


The choice is becoming increasingly obvious but the suppliers with both DCS and SCADA argue that they have the best solution

Distributed Control Systems (DCS) have hardware and software like a SCADA system but this is a pre-packaged solution with a built-in controller and control room that doesn't allow customization. This solution is normally supported by very high-speed connections, and it's delivered as a turnkey solution. These systems are quite inflexible. It’s not possible to go out and purchase new PLCs that simply plug into the solution. A Tesla is a good example of where the entire car is a DCS that cannot use aftermarket modules.

Supervisory Control and Data Access (SCADA) is designed to be an Open Connectivity Framework platform that pulls from all programmable controllers into a central control and alarming environment that is programmed based upon the customers' requirements and can connect to pretty much any device. LEGO would be a good example of something that is delivered with all of the tools to build an environment, but programming is customer specific.

Info-Tech Insight

Modern SCADA is becoming increasingly flexible as customers need to connect to many IoT devices.

SCADA by the Numbers

IIoT is poised for rapid growth.

  • Hardware spend is rapidly growing and is anticipated to grow more rapidly as companies attempt to gain advantage or catch competitors.
  • Software-as-a-Service is still in its infancy; however, SaaS companies are becoming the norm. Implementations will become an operating expense versus a capital expense.
  • Perpetual license spending is still significant; however, it is anticipated that it will continue to be eroded as more businesses become comfortable with cloud-based production services.
  • IIoT drives SCADA as an emerging growth market, whether its an actual SCADA solution or piecemeal SCADA technology.

Global market size for supervisory control and data acquisition.

Global market size for supervisory control and data acquisition.

Modern SCADA

SCADA systems have always been designed to enable capture and control of data but now they provide universal flexibility.

Modern SCADA

Info-Tech Insight

The goal of modern SCADA is to enable rapid connectivity for pulling live data for real-time monitoring and alerting.

Sources: VT Scada 2022, Inductive Automation 2022, Google IoT Core 2022 (retiring 2023), Machine Metrics May 2022.

Suppliers' solutions need careful review

A difficult choice between solution or technology

Buying all-in-one solutions binds the environment as intended by the supplier of the solution. Solutions tend to be made up of a series of technologies that, although coherent with each other, are restrictive for the customer.

Purchasing technologies based on needs gives the company flexibility to produce product effectively and scale out the solution as the demands of the market change. The cloud and hybrid are good examples of shifts to open platforms that become critical if the company wants to have a cohesive and flexible ecosystem.

Info-Tech Insight

Being adaptable isn’t just desired, it has become a critical strategy for companies to maintain competitiveness.

IoT is fueling the future of business

IoT has been making its presence felt and now the speed of adoption is accelerating.

IoT is fueling the future of business

Sources: Techjury – Aug 2022.

Build a logical factory structure

Make sure people with the correct skills develop your solution

Build a logical factory structure

Sources: Winmate TTX 2022,
IIoT World 2018,
TechTarget 2022,
Databricks 2022.

Factory connectivity in layers

Core components of a connected factory

Core components of a connected factory

Sources: IoT Consortium 2022, AZO Sensors 2022, Inductive Automation 2022.

Factory flow – source to consumption

Capture data from all sources and use it to present data across a multitude of devices for real-time decision making.

  • IoT Network
  • IIoT Equipment
  • ERP
  • WMS
  • TMS
  • MES
  • External Cloud Sources
  • PLM
  • Open API’s
  • Proprietary API’s
  • Streaming Data
  • SSIS, Batch, Jobs
  • Data Marketplaces
  • OPC-UA
  • Data Mart
  • Data Lake
  • ML Data Registry
  • Analytics Report DB
  • Data Replication
  • Hot Data Update
  • Data Curation
  • AI Algorithms Run and Staging
  • Data Quality Review Gating
  • Executive Dashboarding
  • Operations Dashboarding
  • Real-Time Alerts
  • KPI Tracking
  • Predictive Messaging

Sources: TTX Solutions 2022.

Develop a plan for success

Criteria to justify IoT projects

IoT and IIoT are capturing the hearts and minds of executives as the dream of real-time, data-driven decision making is becoming a reality. The ability to connect to factory equipment has been possible for several years however, the power of the Internet and the Edge has opened a world of possibilities, and industry segment leaders are using IoT to drive results.

Cost SavingsDrive RevenueEnhance Safety
The leading driver of enterprise IoT projects is cost savings that can be realized through solutions such as predictive maintenance.The goal of these projects is to create new connected streams of information to enhance products and services.The role of IoT in safety is delivering tremendous potential for live alerts, notifications, and monitoring as an immediate call to action.

Case Study

Operational Intelligence Platform, Mumbai, India.

Renewable Energy

Saviant Consulting and Microsoft, 2022

Leveraging IIoT and the Cloud for Global solutions.


Wind energy projects deliver unique challenges for those businesses implementing and managing wind turbines and all the associated equipment.

Many of the locations where wind turbines get implemented are very remote and have historically been very challenging to manage.

In the past companies needed to drive or take a boat out to the locations so that they could manually capture data from the devices and load it onto systems.

The equipment tends to break down often due to the harsh environments where it resides.


Develop a robust equipment and data platform that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and deliver intelligent decisions.

The system needs to be designed so that the team is capturing data related to the location, stock availability, repair instructions, and any other information that would enable them to fix a problem immediately.

The other aspect is that although the data is stored in multiple locations, the engineers need to be able to get at it quickly. Moving it into a Cloud environment would enable greater access to the data.


All data is gathered and stored in a Cloud Data Lake.

Captures and uses structured and un-structured real-time data for decision making.

The efficient operating environment enables the use of new tools for intelligent decision making.

IIoT enables data for resilient operations which minimize downtime through predictive maintenance.

The system sends out alerts of an incident and the engineers can get photos or work instructions directly off the system as well as monitoring status via dashboards.

450,000 wind turbines using IIoT

Key Takeaway

Connectivity has developed to a state whereby IIoT is able to scale across most local and remote devices.

Develop a plan for success


Use tools and resources that will be supported for the long run.

  7. GO LIVE

Define the initiative in the form of an opportunity to reduce cost, drive revenue, or improve safety with priority on an initial timeline.

Consider all resources and capabilities that will be impacted by the changes. Tools, people, process, and costs.

Define the data requirements that are immediately necessary, and how the data will scale out later as opportunities expand.

IoT will elevate and broaden the exposure footprint and therefore necessitate the need for upfront planning.

Develop the infrastructure and environments that will be used or impacted either on-premise, in the cloud, or hybrid.

Conduct a series of dry runs in a test environment to ensure all errors are captured and corrected.

Execute the communication plan and parallel runs with live comparative analysis to provide production reports to management.

List out the notable Pros and Cons


Live Data Capture
Sensors and logic controllers gather all data and actions as they occur.

Special skills are needed whether it’s for internal staff or externally contracted resources.

Predictive Possibilities
IoT enables the possibility to move from preventative to predictive processes such as cost saving maintenance.

Non-Standard Technology
IIoT devices have been around for more than 30 years and don’t yet have a common standard.

Better Connection Tools
Widespread adoption is fueling improvements in tools and how to best utilize IIoT.

Security Leakage
Exposing equipment to the internet can open holes for hackers to expose.

Sources: Tech Target Sep 2021.

Security implications of IoT

Enabling the factory puts those services directly into the sights of hackers

Types of Responsibilities

  • Defective or dangerous designs
  • Unintentional but foreseeable manufacturing defects
  • Failure to provide adequate risk warnings
  • Lack of or inadequate testing and inspection processes

Potential Liabilities – the impact can be high

  • Punitive Damages: administered by country and severity.
  • Lost Earning Capacity: compensation for earnings if a person can no longer work.
  • Pain and Suffering: if the damage is such that a person is suffering from chronic pain as a direct result of the product then they may be awarded compensation.
  • Economic Loss: this is less common from personal injury and lost earnings, but it may be applicable in some rare cases.
  • Product Recall and Destruction: there may be a requirement to recall and adjust a product or safely destroy the product to avoid any further consumer risks.

Sources: ars TECHNICA – Jul 2022.

Info-Tech Insight

The manufacturer is responsible for safe ingredients and the safe formulation of said ingredients into a high-quality final product.

Special Challenges for the CIO

Solutions need to fit with the type of business needs.

Industry Challenges

  • Some industries, such as joint ventures, need to segregate the solution to connect each source independent from one another.
  • Even the government has factories that manufacture goods and need to be considered on a data element by data element basis.
  • Data governance is a major challenge for businesses wanting to utilize live data for decision making.
  • Data archiving architectures are resource and security intensive.

Important Considerations

  • Security must be tight:
    • Use NIST, HIPAA, HITRUST, and ISO guiding principles.
    • Recommend that CMMC Level 2, ISO 270001-2 and FIPPS fair information practice principles be utilized.
    • Business security tools and high operational technology engagement are critical.
  • Reporting requires context:
    • Government normally focuses 20% on reporting and 80% on transactions.
    • Non-government focus 20% on transactions and 80% on reporting.

Sources: CIO Connection Call – Aug 2022.

Info-Tech Insight

The key performance indicators and service level agreements must be carefully defined before going live.

Start Predictive Maintenance Small

Predictive maintenance requires a mindset shift.

Key Functions

  • On/Off tracking to determine when a machine is being used.
  • Counting helps to determine wear and tear.
  • Tolerance tracking enables alerting of potential problems.
  • Vibration analysis to identify idling vs. actual machine processing.
  • Acoustics can enable warnings related to lubrication type requirements.

Important Considerations

  • Predictive and Condition-Based Maintenance:
    • Using a combination of factors such as those noted above and additional conditions such as temperature, pressure, and detecting wear such as cracking, can ensure that the predictive maintenance will be highly effective.
  • Preventive Maintenance:
    • Using a preventive maintenance approach, such as approximate time and usage guidelines, fall short.
    • When using preventive maintenance the business is operating in a guess and reactionary mode.

Sources: ptcl – Feb 2021.

Info-Tech Insight

Using barcode scanning to predict usage is a weak method because there is no machine runtime tracking.

Case Study

Schwering & Hasse’s Quality Manufacturing


EVVR, 2021
RTInsights, 2019

Using IIoT for monitoring and controlling of 32 million miles of high-grade copper wire.


They are a key producer of global magnet wire that is made from copper.

The company needed to implement a solution that would produce extremely high quality and high-grade product.

Another critical capability was the need to ensure that there is a predictive and reliable supply chain for both warehousing and delivery of the product.

Some customers have onsite stock that needs to be monitored and maintained by Schwering & Hasse.


Develop a plan for monitoring 400 production lines using 20 different types of sensors for the manufacturing production environment.

Create an additional plan for the supply chain management function that would reduce the delivery process cost by 40%.

Utilize the Industry 4.0 technologies to improve quality and digitally transform this business with real-time predictive capabilities through IIoT.


The company implemented sensing for 20,000 automated pallet delivery slots capturing 50,000 production line event data elements are captured and analyzed per second.

The 400 production lines are monitored 24/7 with 32 million miles of wire and utilizing the 20 different sensors to capture the data in real-time.

The level of quality is tracked and measured with a level of precision down to less than an inch and in real-time.

140,000 kilometers produced per day

Key Takeaway

IIoT is a powerful quality management tool that can be used across a wide variety of manufacturing sectors.

IIoT Worldwide Statistics

Info-Tech Insight

Industrial Internet of Things Growth is gaining wide attention from Industry Leaders from both IT and the Business.

IIoT Worldwide Statistics

Sources: Statista – 2022.

The Industrial Connectivity Ecosystem

Make sure the correctly skilled people develop your solution

The Industrial Connectivity Ecosystem

SCADA Products

SCADA Products

Sources: SoftwareReviews, 2023

SCADA Products

ProductsProduct Summaries
RockwellDesigned for the complex capture and orchestration of data from machines, lines, and facilities into dashboards and analytic reports. They have a large ecosystem of product modules with which they can handle single or multi-plant implementations. They have been acquiring additional SCADA capabilities.
SiemensThe Siemens Simatic SCADA product is designed to scale. It has the ability too capture, store, archive, and analyze very large amounts of data. Siemens has been developing industry-leading SCADA solutions for many years and is widely recognized as one of the top solutions in the market.
IgnitionInductive Automation has done a good job of creating a product that delivers results. This is a web-based solution that is considered one of the easier and more flexible solutions available on the market. Numerous Info-Tech customers are using this product and feedback has been positive.

Sources: SoftwareReviews, 2023.

SCADA Products

SCADA Products

Sources: SoftwareReviews, 2023.

SCADA Products

ProductsProduct Summary
VTSCADAAn on-premise solution enables the business to capture, aggregate, display, analyze and present information from plant equipment. An intuitive solution that is widely used in the Oil & Gas, Water, Wastewater and Stormwater service industries. Utilizing a reactive program enables usage with the Google and Facebook.
FactoryStudioThe FactoryStudio solution is an all-in-one toolset that allows the business to develop its own bolt-on applications as well as using the FrameworX to connect to any device in the factory. An IIoT-enabled platform solution offering real-time access to production data. An on-premise and a cloud solution.
Schneider ElectricSchneider Electric has been a leader in this market for several years and has well known brands such as Wonderware/Aveva/EcoStructure with tools that connect the factory. They offer a wide array of tools and training as well as having some very highly skilled technical staff. A premium high-quality solution set.

Sources: SoftwareReviews, 2023.

Notable IIoT Connectivity Products

ProductsProduct Summaries
MulesoftA secure cloud solution with out-of-the-box connectors and discovery and support for ISO 27001, SOC 2, PCI DSS, and GDPR with tokenization. With connectors to other cloud services this tool enables the capture that can be leveraged for online marketplaces as well as plant equipment maintenance.
Alleantia IIoT Boomi ConnectorFor businesses just wanting to capture data from machines and pulling it into a Data Lake the Boomi Connector can connect with a wide range of PLC sensors. See the Library for all supported sensors.
PTC ThingWorxThis platform uses pre-built applications and developer tools to remove the barriers associated with enabling IIoT across the factory. ThingWorx is designed for cost reduction, innovation, quality improvement, and flexibility in mind.
Tulip IIoT PlatformUses a combination of hardware and software that leverages Industry 4.0 technologies to bring the factory to life. The Tulip solution enables connectivity and control of industrial machines and the capability to develop manufacturing applications.

Info-Tech Insight

There is no single approach for connecting the factory. Companies must determine their approach based upon skill level, budget, and ongoing support.

More Info-Tech research to explore

CIO Priorities 2023
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Blockchain for Supply Chain
An emerging approach to Supply Chain stability.

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Making sure the products you choose are effective performers.

Rapid Application Selection Framework
Digital twin: A living, breathing reflection.

Contributing Experts

ITRG CIO CONNECTION team that meet regularly to share innovative ideas for business improvement.

Kevin Kracher, Global Vice President, IT


Frederick Donatucci, Vice President, IT


Dan Lasher, Chief Information Security Officer


Patrick McLendon, Chief Information Officer


Marline Thomas, Global IT Director


Analyst and Info-Tech Contributors

Kevin Tucker, Principal Research Director


Christopher Goodhue, Managing Partner


Steven Schmidt, Managing Partner


Info-Tech Contributors

Sallie Wright, Executive Counsellor


Facilitator of the ITRG CIO CONNECTION team.

David Espinosa, Executive Counsellor



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