Preparing for a Connected Future with IoT
While to the public IoT is often related to “smart homes” in which all devices and appliances from home security to lighting are part of the connected ecosystem, IoT technology is transforming operations across all sectors, including industrial, healthcare, infrastructure. In this article we will share the basics of IoT and how the technology is transforming industries.
What is IoT?
Internet of Things (IoT) refers to physical objects embedded with sensors, software and other technologies that can collect and share data with other devices and systems by connecting to the internet. With computer chips becoming cheaper and wireless connectivity widely available, nearly every object can now be “connected” and made “smart.” Simple objects and tools like sensors thermostats, machinery, and the like can now be ‘connected devices.”
“According to Statista, worldwide spending on Internet of Things (IoT) by 2023 is estimated to reach $1.1 trillion.”
Why is IoT Important for Your Business?
Innovative businesses are already adopting IoT applications or planning to, keeping in mind the many benefits IoT brings with it. Some of the benefits include:
Data Analytics – Data is the lifeblood of most businesses now, IoT creates even more data that businesses can use to collect, analyze, and detect patterns that can make processes more productive and safer.
Increase Efficiency – Executives and stakeholders can access real-time data of processes, devices, and persons which can help them take actionable, informed decisions. This leads to increased operational efficiency.
Inventory Management – Inventory management and tracking can sometimes get tricky, especially when dealing with large quantities of products. IoT tracking in the supply chain can monitor assets to ensure nothing goes missing in transit.
Innovate – IoT devices provide continuous streams of performance data which, with the help of predictive maintenance algorithms embedded in most IoT platforms, help businesses innovate and provide improved products and services to customers.
Lower Maintenance Cost – Maintenance cost and downtime can be significantly reduced with IoT predictive maintenance alerting potential failures before they occur and thus provide maintenance workers opportunity to intervene to prevent failures.
Employee and Customer Safety – The ability to constantly monitor device performance can help keep employees and customers safe from hazardous incidents such as equipment breakdown or critical device malfunctioning.
IoT Application Categories
In an increasingly connected world, the scope of application of IoT technology continues to grow and can be found in all spheres but broadly it can be divided into three categories.
Consumer IoT typically involves devices and applications that are found in personal and everyday use by individuals and families. These may include home automation, wearable devices, connected vehicles, and appliances with remote monitoring capabilities. Smartwatches Smart thermostats, and smart speakers are some of the more popular consumer IoT devices.
Commercial or Enterprise Applications
IoT technology used by large groups of people or businesses for various purposes falls under this category. This may include the healthcare sector, hospitality, smart buildings and even smart cities in which garbage collection, outdoor lighting and transportation runs with the aid of IoT technology.
Industrial applications or Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) refers to network of connected devices in industrial settings that collect and analyze data which can be used to gain better insights. IIoT takes industrial automation to the next level and helps monitor machinery for maintenance purposes. Some of the uses of IIoT listed by Industry IoT Consortium include –
- Smart factory warehousing applications
- Predictive and remote maintenance
- Freight, goods, and transportation monitoring
- Connected logistics
- Smart farming and livestock monitoring
- Industrial security systems
- Energy consumption optimization
- Industrial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
- Manufacturing equipment monitoring
- Asset tracking and smart logistics
- Ozone, gas, and temperature monitoring in industrial environments
- Safety and health monitoring of workers
IoT is beneficial for industries across sectors but adopting and implementing the technology can be challenging, it is still an evolving technology and as such presents hurdles that require certain amount of expertise to overcome. Choosing the right partner and a robust and trusted platform like Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform can make your IoT journey smooth and help businesses become innovative for the future.