The Growing Integration of Smart Devices in the Industrial Sector
Smart devices have changed people’s lives in multiple ways, but it looks like we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg of their potential in some areas. The industrial sector has been a heavy adopter of these technologies, and the results are already showing. Many companies have managed to successfully transform their entire production chains and have made them more efficient in multiple ways, largely owing to this factor. Examples are not hard to find – and we’re likely going to see even more in the near future.
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Constant Connectivity to Production Facilities
With a single device, an employee can now have access to various parts of the production chain, often without requiring physical access to them. This can significantly streamline certain common aspects of work, while it can also reduce physical traffic through the facility. Of course, a solution like this also requires a more diligent approach to security. But this should go without saying when it comes to integrating new technology and giving it so much access to the company’s resources in the first place. As long as common security practices are followed, this should not be a problem to begin with.
Communication and Authentication
Simplifying communication between employees, while simultaneously using personal smart devices as authentication tokens, has reduced the complexity of various parts of the industrial sector. Employees can now use a single, centralized device to handle multiple tasks integral to their work. And since that device is inherently tied to their personal profile, there’s no need to separately handle different sets of devices, creating potential security risks like in the past.
Replacing Single-Purpose Devices
This goes further though. Various single-purpose devices are being phased out in favor of smart applications that perform the same functions, in some cases even more. From smaller things like a price scanner, to more complex solutions like object recognition and person identification. A single device in the pocket of each employee can now handle many of those tasks at the same time.
And this reduces organizational complexity on multiple fronts. Not only does it simplify the work of the employee themselves, but it can also reduce the workload of various company departments, like IT and other maintenance-related ones. Some have pointed out that this centralized approach can also have certain downsides, such as completely disabling an employee’s access to company resources if their device goes down. But the general consensus for the moment appears to be that the benefits outweigh the negatives.
It will take some time before we fully understand the implications of these solutions on all areas of the industrial sector. Especially with regards to new developments in artificial intelligence and related fields. But one thing is clear for now – this is something that every professional involved in this field should pay attention to. If there is an opportunity to integrate such solutions into your organization, it’s probably in your best effort to seize it as early as possible. The long-term benefits are shaping up to be quite attractive at this point, and we don’t even see the full picture yet.