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  • Writer's pictureMegan Willing

IoT Versus IIoT: What’s the Difference?

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

In our day-to-day life we communicate, work alongside and collaborate with others. Collaboration and communication can occur, not only between people, but also machines. Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT is a series of machines that are connected through a system of communication devices. They communicate with each other while collecting and organizing information to be analyzed later. In this blog post we will be going in depth about this and how it can help companies improve.

You might have heard about IoT before, but what's the difference between that and IIot? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Internet of Things is defined as “the networking capability that allows information to be sent and received from objects and devices (such as fixtures and kitchen appliances) using the internet.” The majority of the people around the world today have devices throughout their homes. This includes Smart TVs, phones, tablets, wireless earbuds, smart watches, computers, etc. All of these devices have the ability to connect to each other. For example you can stream something from your phone onto your TV. IIoT is similar, but in the industrial setting.

Although IoT and IIoT are helpful there are several risks or possible setbacks that could occur. The devices used could be prone to breaches in cybersecurity. The likelihood of this happening can be exacerbated by the use of machinery and software that are older or haven't been updated in a long time. Not having a plan in place or idea of how to solve any problems that could occur may also put you at risk. Other things that could put a company's security at risk include, the machine itself not being built with security in mind, and people working with new technology (Bajramovic,Gupta,Guo,Waedt, Bajramovic, 2019).

With IIoT, you may think that it only includes machinery, It includes the workers too. This topic may have been touched upon in one of our previous blog posts. Industry 5.0 talks about humans and machines working alongside each other - so does this. A paper from HMR Institute of Technology mentions what came before Industry 5.0, Industry 4.0.”IoT is for the trading sector and IIoT is for the Industrial sector. In the period of Industry 4.0, the next industrial revolution begins which is also known as the Industrial Internet of Things. It is considered that Industry 4.0 is part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Factories have machines with wireless connectivity and sensors which are attached to a system that can control the whole manufacturing line and make meaningful conclusions on its own in the Industry 4.0 (Himanshu, Sharma, Singh, 2020).

The information helps to direct workers in the right direction when it comes to figuring out how to better the company. There are several ways in which this information can be modeled or visualized. One of the ways is called Digital Twins, which allows you to see a digital simulation of what something could look like in person. According to IBM a digital Twin is “a virtual model designed to accurately reflect a physical object. The object being studied - for example, a wind turbine - is outfitted with various sensors related to vital functionality.”

In manufacturing you can see what a specific step in the process may look like. If part of the process includes melting plastic, a simulation of the machine used to do so can be simulated. Workers can see if there are any flaws to the machine itself or the process as a whole.

Using IoT/IIoT in business, does not only affect the production process but also how the business runs as a whole.This includes the business model, how will profit be brought in? Making the job more efficient can bring value in all aspects of the business. According to an article from Forbes that was released in 2018 that quoted The Harvard Business Review, “to take advantage of new cloud-based opportunities today’s companies will need to fundamentally rethink their orthodoxies about value creation and value capture.”

As discussed in this blog post, there are many positives in implementing IIoT. You should know what your overall plan is and what needs to be done in order to properly use this technology. The future of manufacturing is changing, as more people bring it into their businesses.


Abuhasel, K., & Khan, M. A. (n.d.). (publication). A Secure Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Framework for Resource Management in Smart Manufacturing (Vol. 8). IEEE Access.

Bajramovic, E., Gupta , D., Guo, Y., Waedt K. & Bajramovic, A. (2019). (publication). Security Challenges and Best Practices for IIoT. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from

Himanshu , Sharma, N., & Singh, D. R. (n.d.). (publication). Evolution of IoT to IIoT: Applications and Challenges. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from

International Business Machines. (n.d.). What is a digital twin? IBM. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from

Parris, C. (n.d.). What is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT)? Everything you need to know about IIoT | GE Digital. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Internet of things definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from

TECHSLANG. (2022, February 4). Industrial IoT (IIoT) and Cybersecurity: Challenges and Prospects . Retrieved August 31, 2022, from

Team, I. (2018, October 4). Forbes Insights: How IOT is spawning better business models. Forbes. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from

Viorel, P., & Burton, J. (2022, May 26). Top 3 industrial IOT business models. IIoT World. Retrieved August 31, 2022, from

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