Accelerating the
Industrial Internet of Things

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to the Plant

Published on 07/06/2017 | Operations

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Peter Reynolds

Contributing Analyst. ARC Advisory Group

IoT GUIDE

In the current manufacturing environment, companies are looking for unique ways to manage cost and increase margins. Opportunities exist to improve the operational performance by enabling people with effective mobility tools and technology. Deploying large-scale company-driven mobile technology programs for industrial workers is often cost prohibitive and can distract an industrial organization from its mission and purpose.

Employees and workers in today's industrial manufacturing are becoming increasingly aware of how connected the world has become. The speed in which business and plant decisions must be made increases rapidly, as does the need for operational information from almost any location. Many workers today already own mobile devices such as consumer tablets and smartphones. Often, these have been used in an industrial environment, but in a way that might pose a risk in operational facilities, particularly in facilities with hazardous environments where a slight spark could cause the plant to “go boom.”

While many plants do not allow employees to take a non-industrial consumer device into hazardous plant areas, it does occur. Many workers have a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” approach to consumer mobility. Industrial workers are bringing their own devices to work and using these to access personal data. Since this occurs without the knowledge and endorsement of management, no effort is expended to ensure these devices can leverage plant data. A better model for industrial worker technology enablement might be to embrace BYOD and consumer devices but do so with specific policies and by offering a mechanism to ensure the device is rated for the proper area classification.

 

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.

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