Infrastructure is society's backbone; from water supply to healthcare, national infrastructure enhances people's lives. In today's reality, technology is moving into interconnectedness, and embedded systems are critical to this development. Implementing digital adoption leads to better workflows, safer working environments, increased sustainability procedures, and cost-efficiency.
Although digital transformation's benefits are attractive, infrastructure needs to catch up, as the challenges to deploying it are complex. Currently, the solutions available struggle to overcome the interconnectivity problems. The most critical are cybersecurity and real-time data assurance. Better embedded system software is the answer for infrastructure to embrace Industry 4.0.
Continue reading to learn about how decentralized blockchain-secured embedded system software is the perfect solution. We will drive you through the fundamental challenges and opportunities the fourth industrial revolution brings to infrastructure. Present viable solutions to help infrastructure transition seamlessly into digital and achieve the promise technology aspires to make the world a better place for society and the ecosystem.
The neck-breaking speed at which technology moves makes it hard for businesses to keep up and decide what tech is the best fit. To help you navigate this ever-changing landscape, we'll present industries' major challenges when moving into digital transformation. The following are critical for businesses to adopt digital into their workflows successfully:
Let's look at these challenges in more detail and what they mean for infrastructure.
Cybersecurity is an ongoing issue, and Industry 4.0 is only enlarging the attack surface as more embedded systems in devices and sensors are connected. Infrastructure technology, until now, was not intended to be connected to the internet. Therefore, security is a big problem. The recent and continuing Ukraine and Russian conflict spotlights infrastructure risks and vulnerabilities.
Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA) strategic plan 2023-2025 "security as a top priority is a necessity, particularly in ICS and OT…." The priority to action a cybersecurity strategy comes from recent attacks like the 2021 water treatment plant hack supplying the San Francisco Bay area. The water was poisoned, but fortunately, there was no reported illness from water-related failures. Another incident alarming infrastructures' security occurred the same year in May, the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. Affecting 17 states and Washington, D.C., and issuing an emergency declaration by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Industry 4.0's data-driven paradigm shift means data management is critical to be successful in digital transformation. Today's data management solutions are based on centralized systems that move data generated on-premises to server centers. For infrastructure, centralized dataflow processing isn't cost-effective. Data generation is increasing steadily throughout all industries meaning more bandwidth is required, creating higher budgets.
In addition to rising budgets, critical infrastructure dataflow travels through the same cables as all other data. Imagine dataflows are traffic. In this situation, currently, all vehicles move through the same lanes and have no priority. Something unthinkable in today's traffic management, public transportation uses different lanes, first responders use sirens, and traffic signaling indicates when to pass or give way.
Digital data travels without any management, and the only way to accelerate the process is by purchasing more bandwidth. But problems like bandwidth bottlenecks and latency still occur even with the highest bandwidth possible. This issue leads to the next major challenge, real-time data to information.
Assuring real-time data to information in infrastructure is vital for the correct functioning of, for example, water and wastewater treatment plants and electric grids. But as we have presented, data management processing is currently open to various risks and vulnerabilities, resulting in the impossibility of ensuring real-time data to information.
It is unacceptable for the infrastructure industry to use a service unable to offer real-time data. The consequences can lead to grave situations putting citizens, societies, and nations at risk, as late alerts of a malfunction or incorrect data inputs have the potential to create havoc. If critical infrastructure fails, people get left without water supply, electricity, or healthcare.
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have drawn the line and set sustainability as a top priority. National infrastructure must comply with the sustainability pledge; to do so, technology is an asset. Embedded system software connectivity provides a wealth of information regarding workflow improvements to reduce GHG emissions.
Sustainability must be approached holistically, and embedded AI in devices, sensors, and wearables produces data analysis and historical data comparison. Using it effectively spotlights throughout the supply chain precise information to actuate on and eliminate unnecessary processes increasing the carbon footprint. From transportation, storage, and product refinement optimization to condition monitoring of machinery and equipment for maintenance purposes, embedded systems help to adopt better sustainable procedures.
Another critical factor is how the data generated by embedded technology gets managed. If the solution isn't sustainable, then there's no point in implementing it. Data centers are one of the most energy-intensive building types, consuming 10 to 50 times the energy per floor space of a typical commercial office building.
The solution to the mentioned challenges infrastructure faces is to search for better embedded system software. To achieve this, industry leaders in the infrastructure market must search for technology partnerships ensuring the following:
Let's deep dive into these requirements to understand how they can help overcome the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution in the infrastructure industry.
Moving away from or reducing centralized data management usage as much as possible implies adopting a decentralized software infrastructure approach. Innovative breakthroughs can keep data processing, analysis, storage, and delivery at the source using the existing hardware. This is achieved using the computing power of all the network nodes (devices, sensors, computers). Creating a decentralized embedded system software on-premises, many existing devices are capable of data persistence, and some even for reasonably complex computing.
Cybersecurity is consolidated with blockchain implementation, giving the decentralized software infrastructure data security and privacy. The blockchain is a digital ledger distributing data throughout the network via blocks, and new ones are created once the whole network approves them. This solution gets done through service manifests and consensus. Therefore, if a node starts to deviate from its tasks, the other nodes alert the network and ignore the malfunctioning node.
Implementing blockchain security into a decentralized embedded system software makes it practically impossible for hackers to take control of the whole network. It also provides an alert in case of node malfunction. Thus, corrupt data input is mitigated.
Adding edge computing to the equation ignites a robust solution ready to set national infrastructure on the path to a successful digital transformation. It's important to understand that edge computing is provided by centralized services, i.e., cloud service providers, as an extension to server centers. It is useful and can be an option for specific procedures, but if you want to take full advantage, the best embedded system software option doesn't require the Cloud.
As such, edge computing must be delivered via a decentralized software infrastructure that uses existing hardware and is blockchain-secured.
As mentioned, data centers are one of the most energy-intensive building types. To this, we have to add the computing programming used. There are two choices for running code in computing: compiled and interpreted. We use a compiler that produces a binary of machine code with compiled code. The binary is then run directly on the hardware through the OS. Examples of compiled code include C, C++, and Rust.
Internet of Everything Corporation (IoE Corp) designed the Eden system thinking about the challenges Industry 4.0 faces and providing a better embedded system software. IoE Corp's Eden is a decentralized, autonomous, portable, secure virtual infrastructure for managing clustered workloads over Depos (decentralized pods) and services facilitating declarative configuration and automation.
Learn more about the breakthrough Eden is and how its software system improves embedded systems in critical national infrastructure here. Onboard our revolutionizing approach to Industry 4.0 and become an industry leader pioneering the fourth industrial revolution by partnering with us. Apply to the EDEN Planet Partner Program.