Industrial automation is the current trend of industrialization. The timeliness of production, precise monitoring, ease of handling failures and alerts have boosted the need of industrial automation to a great extent. The invention of various efficient machine learning algorithms and deep learning approaches have further smoothened the automation scenario in industries. Embracing Internet-of-Thing (IoT) as the backbone and Cyber Physical System (CPS) as the integral part of industries’ infrastructure, the progress of industries has successfully issued the “Industry 4.0” revolution. Besides, data exchange among industrial devices, data-driven factories, and collaborative manufacturing have also possessed importance in this revolution. But we are not stopping here. The human collaboration in industries, which is minimized in Industry 4.0 by incorporating robotics manufacturing, has been revived in the upcoming Industry 5.0 revolution, since It takes the concept of personalisation to the next level. This revolution emphasizes on the cooperation between man and machine, as human intelligence works in harmony with cognitive computing. However, in this series of revolutions, we must not forget one thing about the centralization tendency of industrial data. All the industries deal with multiple stakeholders. Therefore, a centralized system or even distributed cloud system may not be so significant in the revolutions of industries. Based on this finding we may conclude that impactful decentralized and transparent industrial frameworks are much needed at the present time.
When we talk about decentralization and transparency, the hint that comes to our mind is blockchain. Yes! It is true that blockchain is one of the most promising technologies in the present time that has shown multidimensional benefits. Decentralization, transparency, immutability, and reliability of blockchains have developed various applications in cyber security, finance, agriculture, logistics and many more. However, one thing that’s set back the industries to engage with the blockchain feasibilities is the consensus works like Proof-of-Work (PoW) as it considers large resources to execute the process. Though various alternatives are in process and the research community is still ongoing with further developments of consensus, Industrial IoTs (IIoTs) need significant intuitive developmental aspects to be completely decentralized and transparent. As other alternatives tangle-based solutions need to be explored in the direction of industrial developments. Some of the influential objectives which can flourish this domain are:
- Multiparty authentication of multi-stakeholders
- Efficient lightweight and decentralized Public-Key Infrastructure (PKI) for IIoTs
- Remote attestations
- Decentralized access control framework
- Multiparty smart contracts
- Exploring alternatives of blockchains for decentralization of IIoTs
- Data monitoring and CPS in IIoT decentralization and others.
IoT, industrial revolutions, and decentralization frameworks never supersede the human factor of industrial development; they are instead force multipliers for the human power to provide better efficiency and accuracy. The movement from industrial revolution 4.0 to futuristic 5.0 is actually an initiative for progressive collaboration of man and machines.
Post-doc Research Fellow, Security and Privacy Research Group (SPRITZ), Department of Mathematics, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
Professor, Security and Privacy Research Group (SPRITZ), Department of Mathematics, University of Padova, Padova, Italy