The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has announced the publication of the latest version of its Reference Architecture (IIRA), incorporating rapidly emerging new industrial IoT technologies, concepts and applications.

Version 1.8 builds on the previous iteration and has again taken input from a broad spectrum of IIC members, including system and software architects, and business and security experts.

As with previous versions, the goal of the IIRA is to assist industrial IoT (IIoT) system architects to design solution architectures consistently and to deploy interoperable IIoT systems.

This latest version adds emphasis to the value proposition and enablement of converging operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT), enabling business decision-makers, plant managers, and IT managers to better understand how to drive IIoT system development from a business perspective.

According to the IIC, the updates made to the IIRA include:

  • An improved and enhanced description of the architecture concepts and constructs derived from ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010 Architecture Description standard and their application in the IIRA
  • A new section on IIRA viewpoints Scope of Applicability and Relationship to System Lifecycle Process
  • A new section on Crosscutting Functions and Key System Characteristics
  • A new section on Functional Domain and Compute Deployment Models
  • Clarity that the architecture patterns are only representative and not intended to be all inclusive.
  • A new section on Layered Databus Architecture Pattern
  • A new appendix on Design Space Considerations providing a broad view of possible design parameters and their constraints in identifying, describing and resolving IIoT system concerns

Representatives from IIC member companies such as IBM, GE Digital, SAP SE, Fujitsu North America, Oracle and Intel all contributed to this latest release.

In a statement, the IIC’s steering committee chair and senior vice president of global industry and government affairs for Schneider Electric, John Tuccillo said: “The IIC is committed to delivering practical deliverables to the IIoT community that represent the latest thinking about IIoT.”

“The IIRA and now the IIRA v1.8 are the first steps toward an open, innovative and thriving technology development ecosystem across industrial sectors of the Internet of Things.”