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New DRF enhances IoT opportunities for water

The Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and the Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IoTAA) have launched a digital reference framework (DRF) for the water sector, providing a key resource for an industry seeing an increasing number of applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Building on the IoTAA’s Reference Architecture, the DRF comprises eleven layers, each of which refers to a function or stakeholder category. The framework extends the reference architecture by integrating terms and technologies that are specifically relevant to the water industry. 

While the term “Internet of Things” is ubiquitous in the sector, it can be inconsistently understood and applied. The DRF was developed to address this inconsistency and provide a foundation of simple, understandable terms that could be shared across the industry.

It is vendor-neutral, and provides reference building blocks for IoT architectures and solutions. It also can help facilitate clearer, non-jargonistic conversations around technology in the water sector. 

Organisations can apply the reference framework in a number of ways. It can be used to map customer journeys, demonstrate key business touch points and product values, or to inform business decision-making processes.

In the case of customer journeys, working through the layers of the framework provides a structure for considering all the elements that underpin a customer’s experience. The framework can also be used and adapted to map solutions. 

The framework has been published on the WSAA website, and provides examples of both a customer journey and a solution that have been mapped using the DRF.

One of these examples is Veolia’s Waternamics solution. The map clearly outlines the solution and illustrates where it interfaces with other systems and enterprise applications. 

WSAA and the IoTAA are building a library of applied uses of the DRF and are inviting submissions for additional case studies.