The one thing that business folks always put a keen eye on is to evolving and upgrading their organizations. Spending resources for up-to-date knowledge and cutting edge technology definitely won’t bite but help keep yourself on the frontline of the game. So when IoT was first introduced, it took practically no time for the tech enthusiast business folks to grab it, twist it, and develop it to suit their needs.
Their constant efforts backed by an ardent developer community helped IoT evolve into a fresh business model, restructuring legacy ecosystems. With a little fine tuning and a vision so ambitious, IoT was instantly integrated as a part of the premium business world, and it, as expected, launched the industries to the next level of race for innovation and establishment.
At this point, you might want to jump right into the starting stalls and hop on the first pony you find; you don’t want to be stalled while others are already jumping hurdles. But, should you? If yes, how? We understand your quest, but you also want to know the horizon that is actually out there that expects you at the finish line. What would you get? What can you expect? How IoT actually helps? The answers to these questions are here, as follows:
PS: Or, fortunately you are already riding up on a mare, neck-to-neck with the competitor. Doesn’t matter; you might still want to read this.
IoT helps your business to;
Make the most out of it
Now this could sound very abstract, arbitrary. Yes. It sure is.
Efficiency is something that everyone yearns for. From simple DC motors to complex multistoried machines and huge mainframe rooms, theratio between input and output resources stands as a key criteria on how you assess the system. With the arrival of new age technologies like cloud and edge computing, network-based businesses achieved the magic numbers of efficiency in their process lines, something once predicted only to be a dream. Now that has been established, what IoT could do to up the game further is worth noting.
Take the example of an IoT-integrated data monitoring system.
You are to constantly monitor the performance numbers of all the vehicles belonging to your company. You are then to restructure the performance patterns of the vehicles, something that can be done only after a careful scrutiny of the input data. Now that is a system that you call “slow” – it is tedious, time-consuming, and a slight error could turn serious tables.
But when IoT is involved, in our case here, we employ micro-sensors and real-time analytics. Using the sensors, we retrieve real-time data directly from the vehicles. The transfer of information won’t even exceed one fifth of a second. The numbers are displayed on your smart phone screen even while you’re commuting back home for lunch. A slight deviation in patterns are noted by the system.
Now that has happened, your assistant needn’t pick up that deviating trend; he needn’t pick his phone up and call you for a response. You get the data right then and there on your screen. For road safety purposes, you might decide to park the car on the roadside and open the device. In a moment or few, you study the data while your system brings it to you the follow-up analysis. With a little luck involved and no major errors present, you solve the mess up and the next second, you and your service are good to go.
- Energy efficiency
There was a time when IoT wasn’t employed in manufacturing and automation. The energy monitoring were done using consumption sheets and analog meters. It wasn’t possible to alert when data patterns deviated or resource values fluctuated. There wasn’t real-time demand study and optimization. The load study was hard and tedious; sample modelling were seldom accurate.
With the deployment of Connected Devices technology came systems to quickly analyze, or even predict data even before an event has occurred. It lets you forecast errors and carry our preventive maintenance. With trend analysis, you can bring down the total energy expenditure by timing and scheming the systems to work in tandem and often turn off when not in use.
You can also accurately predict the load so as to equip the right rated machines instead of making errors with under-powered or over-powered devices.
This is the key to efficiency. Any method of controlling the resources to improve output without a steep rise in input demand fall under this category. Optimization is necessarily the things that you do to make the best of a situation with the costs and effort remain unvaried.
In business, basic demand for optimization lies in the process flow. Decreasing the lead times and improving the work flow, along with advanced planning and scheduling helps to bring down the resource wastages. This, coupled with smart inventory management and market study makes the first steps of business optimization.
Another important service offered by IoT sensors and databases is maintenance management.
Make the smartest moves
In a fast-paced scenario like dynamic businesses, one wrong decision can bring down entire corporations. Just as how much important it is to make the right decisions, it is crucial to employ the best techniques out there to control and coordinate what you work with. Internet of Things, in its very basic of essence, is essentially a network that brings things together. At this point, there exists nothing else in the world that can do the job better, and that is why you need IoT to proceed on without risking a technological backlash.
- Data sharing and analysis
Let us make it clear. Data is king.
Unlike old times when you had to rely on detailed manual audits and surveys to gather necessary operation and consumer data, the Gen Alpha gives you surplus of it all the time. And with such huge amounts of information floating around, you don’t want to sit back and relax, but venture in further, deeper in to the informatics.
The easier and secure protocols of data transfer and on-the-go analytics helps you study the trends without losing precious time in between. Data analytics brings it with it to you the power of detailed reporting of the transitions in market and manufacture. Be it I.T or energy, IoT lets you proceed further with decision management, decision support, management informatics etc. regardless of the industry.
Data-driven industries might profit a bit more than traditional fields, but never mind, an extra grip on what happens around you always can boost your decision-making capacity.
- Inventory management
The actual elephant in the manufacturing room. The inventory.
Inventory management is itself a dedicated field of study in operations management, since the control over your raw stocks and materials is essential to optimize the product flow. Monitoring the utilization of materials and the efficient transfer of it to the work stations helps bring down the machine idle times, while tracking the stock numbers helps to replenish the inventory before the process is obstructed.
IoT devices like RFID chips and automated carts, forklifts, cranes etc. tracks and control the inventory operations.
The data monitor integrated to these keep an eye on the numbers, alerting the manager when the stock falls or just automatically replenish it without manual command. It also gives you a detailed chart of material and resource utilization.
- Remote access and control
With the world becoming a single village of business interactions, location constraints became almost null and void. Everyone has access to anything regardless of how far they are from their destination. The market that is supported by IoT hence couldn’t keep off from the necessity of remote access any longer.
With advanced connectivity mediums like Wi-Fi and Ethernet propagated and controlled under specialized protocols, you can securely access your business from anywhere on the world. Simply put, you can analyze the performance chart of a machine in your manufacturing unit in Michigan when you’re on touring in Tokyo, that too in real-time. You can communicate and control the workforce and management instantly and take decisions without “actually being there”. You can even operate devices without having to touch or be near it, like home automation where you can set the HVAC system while driving home so that you’ll be welcomed by a burning fireplace and warm carpets on a cold December night.
Make it future-proof
Just as we have mentioned earlier, keeping the business up-to-date with industry standards is pivotal in deciding the future outcome of the organizational activities. As fresh technologies emerge every day with a potential so massive that could disrupt even the most stable and optimized industries way further, there is no end to the process. In fact, upgrading is a continuous affair rather than one-time thing. You can’t set it to be a periodic thing; just like you grow, future-proofing is a non-stop but unnoticeable process that can’t be perceived in a short time period.
- Digital Twin
Digital Twins are designed to replicate physical objects digitally; they can run accurate simulations of physical operations and are widely employed to study the operation patterns and trends. Digital Twins helps to bring down the costs while also enables management techniques like preventive maintenance and predictive analysis.
In IoT, the digital models are connected across the network for synchronous working. The sensors attached to the device transfers data that helps to simulate the predicted operation pattern of the object, and this data can be sent across the network to trigger operations on the related systems. This creates a digital replication of business operations on your monitor, and with analytics involved, you can access the statistical data along with.
Antonio Grasso, one of the top IoT influencers predict Digital Twins to be the trump card against cyber-attacks and security threats.
Robots are the future, or so have we been told since the beginning of 20th century. Ever since robotics evolved to mass-produce automatic workstations and androids that simulate and imitate anthropomorphic actions and abilities, the faith on the theory became stronger.
Robotic Process Automation is a form of workstation automation in which the system learns the user’s actions on the GUI and later automate by repeating the actions as done by the user. This technology brings to life the concept of ‘software robots’ instead of the physical ones that you might be aware of.
A study by London School of Economics suggests that RPA is expected to impact on the society with a revamped definition of productivity. With these devices interconnected by IoT and coordinated, operation control practically comes under process management and optimization – something IoT is already pretty good at. This, although might affect the employment market, can significantly bring down the error factors and additional costs that are accountable with human employment.
No surprise here. This goes without saying.
Artificial Intelligence has always been the showrunner of the business. Since its inception, AI has never failed to turn heads wherever it went.
Although AI and IoT are different, with their scope of deployment and desired functionalities vary greatly, most tech enthusiasts suggest an overlap of ideas from one to another – a bridge with which both can be connected.
When AI got couples with Connected Devices, the process of data mining, processing, and analytics gets decentralized and more efficient. In return, the edge-devices become self-aware and smarter than ever with intelligent data collection methodologies instead of being dumb sewers of desired and undesired data.
To provide a purpose to data that IoT sources, AI can be integrated, which makes the whole ecosystem transform from Connected Devices to Connected Intelligence.
Nikhil writes things, mostly the old-school short tragedies and fictions. He, owing to his passion for technology, also writes tech blogs and end-user documentation, which has landed him the job as a Technical Writer at ThinkPalm Technologies Pvt Ltd. He is fascinated by the evolving trends in information technology as much as he is enticed by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Harper Lee. Nikhil is also an upcoming author, with his first novel currently under development.