The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is emerging as the next step in industrial automation for companies that are ready to modernize their infrastructures and gain improved efficiency and business intelligence. At Stratus, we’ve witnessed broad growth across the industrial automation space, especially in process industries like oil and gas, food and beverage, and water and wastewater. In fact, in the Americas alone, we’ve grown in these markets by 40% year over year. And we’re well positioned for the next wave of expansion in industrial automation globally as firms begin to adopt IIoT at their own pace.

What’s behind this success? We’ve been deeply embedded in industrial automation for over 35 years. That’s because companies that have embraced industrial automation simply can’t afford unplanned downtime and demand simplicity and serviceability across the entire infrastructure from the core to the edge where remote, unstaffed operations exist. They’ve put their trust in Stratus because we offer a simple, fail-proof way to achieve continuous availability of their critical production and industrial control systems, reduce complexity and risk of their manufacturing processes, and increase longevity of their system investments.

As IIoT adoption further progresses across manufacturing processes, the stakes are becoming higher. Once again, Stratus is helping companies mitigate the risks of change. Here’s how:

To deliver value, IIoT relies on continuous data flow along all points in the connected framework that previously weren’t connected—from sensors collecting component data to control systems monitoring that data and all the way to the business systems running predictive analytics against that data. This framework includes “no-touch” systems running at the edge in remote locations with little or no human intervention. The emerging interconnectedness that didn’t exist before creates a brand new set of requirements for systems and processes supporting the manufacturing floor and other industrial workflows that exist outside the traditional data center. At the edge, expensive oversight and management will need to be largely eliminated.

Even momentary unplanned downtime in this network can have large, rippling negative consequences. For example, a turbine failing at a natural gas compression station because the system monitoring goes down could result in a catastrophic, costly fire that shuts down production for weeks. Stratus helps prevent such disasters with continuous availability solutions that we monitor with our own proactive preventative maintenance analytics.

Today, we see the next wave of opportunity for industrial automation extending to the burgeoning market of critical infrastructure management systems for highways, bridges, tunnels, and electrical grids, as well as broader application across utilities, discrete manufacturing, and mining. With this expansion comes additional demand for these critical systems to be continuously available, and this is where Stratus’ strengths play perfectly.

As a testimony to this growing opportunity and differentiation of our solutions, we’ve entered into an extension of our 12 year strategic partnership with Chinese industrial control and IT leader, Shanghai Hi-tech Control System Co., Ltd. (HITE). I was honored to attend the contract signing ceremony at HITE’s headquarters in Shanghai on March 31st.

Under this agreement, HITE will deliver our continuous availability solutions to the booming Chinese industrial automation markets. The partnership opens new opportunities for HITE to meet demand for critical infrastructure protection and advanced highway systems. We’ll also tap into the emerging market for IIoT systems for deployment in the outer edges of companies’ networks. Stratus eliminates potential concerns about lack of IT resources at these remote, often unstaffed sites with our never-fail availability solutions that offer simple deployment and hands-off management.

Together, Stratus and HITE are in a strong position to grow our presence across the vast Chinese market. And this momentum is only the tip of the iceberg for Stratus as we extend our reach into other global markets with our straightforward, proven approach to taking the complexity out of downtime prevention in industrial automation.