IoT is fast becoming a mainstream buzzword because the cost of the technology, which essentially enables automated data collection, is decreasing rapidly. Manual alternatives for data collection and analysis are not only error-prone, but also unfeasible given the stunning volume of data currently entering most systems. During November 2016, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise published a survey of approximately 80 IT professionals to understand how IoT was working for them. This list draws from many of the stated benefits reported in the survey:
- Benefit #1: Lowering CAPEX: The traditional approach of relying on periodic, scheduled manual checking of factors such as vibration, temperature, or locations of capital equipment is expensive and time-consuming. Without the benefit of wireless networks, the cost of cabling a commercial or industrial site is often prohibitive. Wireless IoT devices provide continuous monitoring to increase capacity and reduce commissioning costs associated with capital expenditures.
- Benefit #2: Being proactive on maintenance and downtime costs: Sensors can provide asset management software with data about equipment operating conditions and their environment. This continuous stream of data tracking error rates enables proactive servicing, minimizes call-out costs and contributes to an overall reduction in downtime.
- Benefit #3: Using IoT to deliver better customer experiences: IoT sensors can alert a corporate IT department about the need to e.g. replenish printer supplies in the accounting department before they’re needed, eliminating the opening of a high-priority IT ticket. RFID-based asset labels on wireless routers can tell service technicians which ceiling panel to remove to gain access to the device. Proximity sensors can detect authorized users approaching a workstation, enabling it to be fully operational for use. Similarly, for security reasons, a workstation can automatically lock itself when the user takes a break.
- Benefit #4: Optimizing asset management: There are many ways IoT can improve asset management. An additional benefit of ordering printing supplies proactively is that unused ink cartridges don’t expire. The accumulated consumption data allows procurement to negotiate supplier contracts that match actual usage patterns. Global visibility enables asset managers to apply more aggressive volume discounts. Keep in mind, this is an HP-centric view of the world, but the premise of tracking assets more easily applies to literally anything with an IP address.
- Benefit #5: Increasing data quality: Having machines provide attribute data about assets is more accurate than manually entered data, which is inherently error-prone. Higher levels of data quality provide a sound foundation for informed decision making. Decisions based on bad data usually result in bad outcomes.
As IoT devices make your environment smarter, you can expect the culture and productivity of corporations and individuals working in them to improve. Monitoring is simply the front-end of a process that prevents failures and improves equipment life to deliver higher levels of service. IoT promises to make IT less reactive and more centered around user needs.
The challenge with IoT is the need to assimilate new data sources fast enough to benefit from them. New architectures are appearing which are capable of managing increasing volumes and types of data, and this trend is accelerating. Blazent’s data quality management platform can ingest hundreds of data streams and provide insights in virtually real-time. You can learn more about what Blazent has done for its customers on the Web at www.blazent.com/resources.