Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) vs. Industry 4.0 – The Significant Comparison


In the digital age, the terms Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are decisive in companies. Companies that rely on innovations and use new technologies can achieve great success as a result. With intelligent solutions, new business models and optimized business processes, companies can land the big hit. But what is the difference between the two terms? Where are they used? And how can you benefit from it? We have summarized everything for you below.

Difference Between Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Companies are still very interested in the Internet of Things (IoT). Managers are constantly trying to optimize the processes inside and outside the company. The terms Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) play a central role here. But what is the difference between these two terms?

First of all, it must be clear that the two terms do not mean the same thing as many people would suspect. Both terms focus on the growing networking and automation of devices and machines. However, there are different priorities. In simplified terms, one could say that the difference would be in use, namely, on the one hand, private use and on the other hand industrial use. But nowadays, private and industrial use go hand in hand. Therefore, the definitions of both terms are necessary here for clarity.

Definition of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 means the digital networking of people, machines and products. In the English-speaking world, this term is referred to as Industrial Internet. For a large part of the economy, this area is still a future project.

This involves efficient production up to batch size one and entire value-added processes in the intelligent factory (smart factory). It is based on networked and automated machines that use network resources and interfaces to monitor themselves and their surroundings. That is why one speaks here of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication.

Also Read: IoT (Internet of Things) In 2021 – The Trend Continues To Improve

Definition of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a variant of IoT specially tailored to your environment. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a consumer-oriented concept for the use of digitized and networked products and devices. It collects and stores information from vehicles, household appliances, entertainment electronics and many other things in everyday life. These are then used by devices to optimize performance or serve as the basis for new intelligent services. The term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) clearly distinguishes the IoT from the area for end consumers. Here, terms such as Smart Factory, Extreme Automation or industrial robots come to the fore.


Both concepts are efficient and results-oriented. Both IIoT and Industry 4.0 are intended to streamline production processes and make production profitable. They are technology-driven and cannot exist without today’s high-speed wireless Internet. In addition, they are dependent on people because they can only make existing processes faster and more efficient through automation. Still, they cannot develop new processes or take them over themselves. That is why people with their knowledge are the key to the return on investment because only they can interpret data and implement measures.


One difference is the scope. IIoT relates almost entirely to the devices in a facility and potential off-site server locations. Industry 4.0, on the other hand, includes IIoT and represents a significantly more extensive scope of analysis, measures and long-term sustainability for the production field. The use is also different. IIoT can be seen as a technology implementation that is independent of new or existing devices. Examples of this can be retrofitted sensors, data transmitters or wireless devices. Industry 4.0 is seen more as a philosophy driven by technologies like IIoT but with a much broader scope. Also, IIoT can manifest itself in equipment investments. Industry 4.

Application Areas Of The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

With IIoT, IoT technologies are also used outside of industrial boundaries. In manufacturing, the IIoT drives innovation enormously. As an example, the company Airbus uses the IIoT to bring a cyber-physical system into being. Here employees can record tasks and pass the information on to robots for completion. Aircraft can be scanned using a tablet or smart glass and can tell the robot which screws to use for assembly. There are also application examples for the IIoT in smart factories, so-called precision farming or proactive device monitoring.

Interestingly, however, there are also IIoT innovations that enable entirely new areas of application. This includes telerobotics, in which humans can remotely control semi-autonomous machines via a virtual interface. Companies can use telerobots for tasks that must be carried out in hazardous environments: inspecting underwater pipelines, maintaining high-voltage lines, or shutting down chemical plants.

Also Read: Advantages & Disadvantages Of The Internet of Things

How You Can Benefit As An Early Adopter

In Industry 4.0, IIoT technologies are used in manufacturing. Thanks to the automation and exchange of data, manufacturing companies can make their decisions in a decentralized manner. They can also ensure information transparency, promote technical support between machines and people, and create an interoperable environment. By and large, they hope to gain competitive advantages from this. According to a study by Forbes magazine, 86 per cent of the companies surveyed expect Industry 4.0 to generate higher sales and profits at lower costs.

Industry 4.0 and IIoT are essential milestones for manufacturing companies. Early adopters are already benefiting from their early efforts today. Your productivity has increased, and at the exact time, costs have decreased. They also have happier customers and employees who feel comfortable in the digital environment. The possibilities seem endless. The industry is sure to change. It will be a lot smarter.

View In The Future

In the future, Industry 4.0 will become Supply Chain 4.0. In the consumer goods industry, supply chain 4.0 enables automated factories to provide information about product capacities. Customers can also change delivery locations via mobile portals. Forward-looking shipping and drone deliveries will also be possible.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will enable Internet and cloud-based communication with devices in the future. Industry 4.0 can be described as the driving force. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can also be viewed as a mathematical solution for Industry 4.0 plus the Internet of Things.

The internet serves as the basis for converting the real and virtual world into an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). This is responsible for the connection of adaptive machines, big data technologies, sensor technology, M2M communication and automation technology.

The global industry is profoundly influenced by the closer networking between the digital and the real world. In addition, our private and social life will change. The way we work and live will no longer be the same.


You now know how the two terms Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are related and how they differ. Many companies are already achieving great success through intelligent solutions, new business models and optimized business processes. This trend will continue over the next few years and will continue to grow.

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