The Internet of Things (IoT) is a phrase used to describe a technological infrastructure in which devices, systems, people, and other "things" are connected to the internet and capable of sharing information amongst themselves in real time.
The IoT is expected to encourage greater energy efficiency, reduce waste, and improve health and safety, while also contributing to personal comfort and convenience.
The Internet of Things is not itself a new technology - rather, it is a new way of applying existing technologies while leveraging the communication capabilities afforded by the Internet.
In many ways, in some ways the IoT is a natural extension and evolution of SCADA. It is SCADA that has burst free from its industrial trappings to embrace entire cities, reaching out over our existing internet infrastructure to spread like a skin over the surface of our planet, bringing people, objects, and systems into an intelligent network of real-time communication and control.
Not entirely unlike a SCADA system – which can include PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers), HMI (Human Machine Interface) screens, database servers, large amounts of cables and wires, and some sort of software to bring all of these things together, an IoT system is also composed of several different technologies working together (Fig. 1). That is to say you can’t just walk in to the electronics section of your local department store, locate the box labelled “IoT” and carry it up to the counter to check out.
It also means that your IoT solution may not resemble your neighbor’s IoT solution. It may be composed of different parts performing different tasks. There is no such a thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ IoT solution. There are, however, some common characteristics that IoT solutions will share:
There could be any number of other elements to your IoT system – alarm notifications, workflow, etc. – but these four components are essential and will be recognized from one IoT system to the next. Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally), these are technologies that all cut their teeth in the world of SCADA.
This is an excerpt from Chapter 17 of the Internet of Things and Data Analytics Handbook" published by Wiley.
To learn more about how SCADA technology is employed in the Internet of Things, look at B-Scada's Status Device Cloud IoT Platform.