Did you know that just a 1% improvement in industrial productivity could add $10 to $15 trillion to worldwide GDP over the next 15 years?
The incentive to improve productivity and streamline operations is that high, and IoT technology is poised to help companies achieve those numbers. While IoT has made enormous advances for industries, with seemingly all devices connected to the internet right now, we have also created some pretty large complications for ourselves when it comes to managing it all.
In our last post we discussed how gaining visibility into your IoT connected devices is an important first step, but once you gain that visibility, what can you do with it? How do you make sure that you are using IoT to it’s greatest potential as it was intended – to connect, streamline and automate your operations, to increase predictability, reduce resolution time, reduce costs, and most importantly optimize the use of your IoT assets?
The IoT Efficiency Problem
There are multiple problems starting with lack of visibility, IT not extending the tools to embrace IoT, lack of standards and interoperability, and closed-loop ecosystems that create “islands” which do not connect with each other. The technology from these connected devices has created vast amounts of data, but connecting that data together to create insight has been an issue for companies. The IoT Institute 2016 Trends Survey for example, found that 1 in 3 participants listed lack of standards and interoperability as a reason for not adopting IoT.
“There are a lot of silos of connectivity,” says Jason Shepherd, Director of IoT Strategy and Partnerships, at Dell. He says that a lot of enterprises are looking primarily for a stable and flexible connectivity stack that lets them “mix and match their sensors and backends depending on their preference.” This will not only help build “bridges” to connect the islands, but also help streamline processes, “connect” various classes of IoT assets to better automate to gain predictability and help bridge IoT with IT.
Benefits of Streamlined Operations
When IoT is optimized there is no limit to its potential when it comes to increasing efficiency. Here are some ways IoT has already been utilized for streamlining operations.
With IoT, you can move from reactive to proactive maintenance by eliminating the need for human touch and automating updates and fixing issues. Increasing efficiency of asset maintenance can mean huge savings in money and headaches. The Next Web in their recent article, for example, estimated that the regular maintenance of a 10-year-old air compressor worth $32,900 can extend the machine’s life for up to four years, resulting in total savings of up to $6,359. Now imagine that multiplied throughout all of your assets throughout your enterprise.
Joe Costello, CEO of a Silicon Valley energy technology told Fortune magazine his clients are cutting their lighting bills by 60% to 70% and cutting heat and air conditioning bills by 20% to 30% using smart building technology.
“The energy savings pays for the installation of the network,” he said, referencing the smart-building technologies.
RFID has been around for decades, helping retailers streamline inventory management processes. IoT continues to develop so that smart inventory management can eliminate the need to manually check what’s on shelves, and reduce labor costs.
How to Gain These Benefits
These improved efficiencies sound all well and good but how will your company achieve streamlined operations with IoT in practice?
Instead of finding out asset issues regarding health, risks, security vulnerabilities from your customers after the fact, take the driver’s seat, and proactively learn such issues via alerts and notifications.
Now go one step further and leverage the IT tools that you have already have in place to not only streamline operations but also use existing workflows. How do we do that? By automatically creating Tickets for these alerts and notifications, and by creating or updating assets in the Asset Management systems.
With these strategies you can extend your IT reach to encompass IoT without leaving existing workflows or tools that they are already familiar with.
We know that we’re heading in the right direction when it comes to IoT operations – we are more efficient than ever before. Brookings Institute reports that what used to take 25 jobs to produce $1 million in manufacturing output in 1980, now takes just 6.5 jobs to produce the same. But with IoT we have barely begun to scratch the surface of its capabilities, and if we’re smart about our IoT plans, we can reduce that job number by several multiples.
Want to learn more about how to start streamlining your IoT operations? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.