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Industrial IoT: Extreme Growth, Extreme Opportunities

Guest blog post by Humera Malik

Getting ready for the Industrial Internet of Things

 The IoT has been influencing the creation of a connected world where unbelievable amounts of data are generated from just about every imaginable thing. These connected, and previously dormant, things are now going to be able to communicate- from my dog’s collar, the milk carton, my car, my thermostat, my watch, my washer and dryer (not that I would particularly enjoy that conversation), you name it. This connectivity and mass data production is exciting because it is defining the future by creating an eco-system where a huge variety of technologies have to work together, thus breaking down silos. Coming from the telco world, that is refreshing.

So what are we supposed to do with this influx of data and connected devices? We’ve been sitting down with IoT decision makers in the industry, and we’ve realized a common theme –at the end of the day, they all want to generate value for their customers from this technology.

Transition before Transformation

The realization of data as an asset is a big leap. In certain industries, less than 1% of the data generated is leveraged to optimize and predict in the working environment. The number of connected devices and data that will be generated is a daily moving target (a recent forecast says 28 billion devices in the next 5 years).

Be it 20 billion or more, we must take measures to accommodate this growth. Both the challenges and opportunities lie in roughly two realms- the consumer world and the industrial world. In the consumer world it is easier to measure value with the advent of some of these wearables, although I am on the fence about the privacy logistics (another topic for another day).

But, in my opinion, the industrial world is where we will see the next wave of technological evolution, through revolutionary smart machinery- machines that can learn and adapt. Big giants like GE and others are already developing connected equipment and devices that will shape the future of the industrial world. In the meantime, before this industrial transformation, small steps need to be taken to help many industries adapt and prepare for the connected future. 

Learn and Adapt

We’ve seen manufacturing, energy, and healthcare take the lead by implementing the beginning steps- sensors and connected devices. The front-runners are working to decipher a flood of new data sets, as well as trying to leverage the wealth of historical data that is readily available and, in my opinion, something we cannot afford to lose track of. Combined, this old and new data will allow us to predict the future- and isn’t that the dream of modern business?

But before your machine learning systems can take over, and optimize efficiency for cost controls while you go and figure out new revenue streams, my advice is to be realistic. The most success has been gained by focusing and placing priority on building an IoT strategy and a roadmap – such as building efficient production environments, with the KPI’s that will optimize for you, rather than a fully connected factory floor. Build a roadmap, and focus on the end KPI’s rather than the technology and a platform. Take small steps towards adopting an IoT strategy as we have seen too much investment go into platforms too early and yield little ROI.

The worlds of IoT and IoE continue to change, adapt and surprise daily, making it very easy to get overwhelmed. The key is to understand how it can help your business and then to develop a path to adopt this technology. The value of IoT lies in business outcomes, not in underlying technology. 

Dat-uh helps create business value from your IoT investments. View original blog post here

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