As we have touched on in our previous articles about the Internet of Things (IoT), the consensus is that it is going to disrupt and transform both our business and home lives in an almost unprecedented way, whilst offering huge benefits for companies.
So what are those benefits?
IoT is already starting to deliver transformation across industries and will generate even more significant change in the coming years.
IoT can help companies utilise their infrastructure and assets in innovative ways to offer new products and services and deliver additional revenue. In addition, by analysing the information contained in the huge volumes of data that the IoT generates, we are provided with the opportunity to improve decision making through proactive, predictive insights.
IoT offers powerful business benefits and value that companies will not be able to afford to ignore. We look at some of these benefits in more detail below.
Cost Savings. Costs can be reduced through improved asset utilisation, efficiencies in processes and productivity. Both customers and companies can benefit from improved asset utilisation- such as smart meters that eliminate reading the meters manually- and service improvements, such as the remote monitoring of patients in clinical settings. General Electric (GE) has estimated that if intelligent machines and analytics generated even a tiny reduction in fuel, capital expenditure and inefficiencies, the resulting savings could be in the billions of dollars.
Improved Asset Utilisation. By having improvements in the tracking of assets-machinery, equipment, tools, etc. - by using sensors and connectivity, businesses can benefit from real time data driven insights and visibility into their assets and supply chains. For instance, it would be much easier to locate assets and implement preventative maintenance programmes on critical pieces of infrastructure and machinery. This would result in improved throughput and utilisation and drastically reduce costs caused by unplanned failures and downtime.
Process Efficiency. Companies can use the real time operational insights provided by the IoT to make better informed business decisions and also achieve a reduction in operating costs. By using the real time data from sensors and actuators enables monitoring to improve process efficiency, reduce energy consumption and minimise human intervention.
Improved Productivity. Productivity is a critical measurement that affects the profitability of any organisation and needs constant attention. The IoT can improve organisational productivity by offering employees just in time training, which provides a better balance between required against available skills. Additionally, by being able to analyse what employees do to carry out their job functions, efficiencies can be identified and implemented.
The IoT introduces an almost unlimited number of opportunities for new, innovative products and services that can be offered using smart devices, machines and products.
Companies can benefit from new revenue streams generated by new business models and services, as well as benefitting from reduced time to market and increasing returns from their R&D investments.
The state of the IoT remains fluid and there are many key challenges that need to be overcome. However, the forces driving it are gaining in momentum. Companies and organisations that master and refine the ability to manage a pervasive, IP aware infrastructure from a diversity of sensors and devices will be those that maximise the opportunities this new, transformational force.
Visit us again as we look at more, diverse applications for the IoT and the scope of its potential.
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