IoT Digital Transformation-The internet of things (IoT) is coming of age. One indication is that the focus on consumer applications that dominated the early years of the IoT — think smart home device automation, home security and energy management — is expanding to include broader enterprise adoption, as evidenced by a 2017 McKinsey study that found “98 percent of survey respondents reported that most companies within their industry include enterprise IoT initiatives in their strategic road maps.”
Enterprises need and want different things from IoT products than what many consumer IoT applications provide. As the chairman and founder of an IoT company, I’ve seen that enterprises engaged in larger digital transformation initiatives, which entail using digital technology to overhaul the fundamentals of how they do business, are deploying IoT solutions to optimize their internal operations, boost revenue streams and support their efforts to become more nimble, agile and efficient.
Moreover, there are a broad array of companies that are able to provide products and expertise to get these initiatives started, whether they are IoT platform providers, the large cloud providers, system integrators or targeted vertical IoT product companies.
Some of the main use cases I see for enterprise IoT today revolve around asset management, tracking and tracing. Examples include:
• Minimizing equipment downtime: You can use IoT to help fix or even prevent failures in equipment such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, agricultural machinery and commercial boilers.
• Optimizing replenishment revenues: The classic razor/razor-blade model for retail revenues is being updated and expanded with the IoT to encompass asset management. Enterprises with offerings that include something that needs regular replenishment or replacement — whether that’s coffee bean supplies or HVAC filters — can create IoT solutions to reduce waste and lower service costs.
• Controlling inventory costs: You can create IoT solutions to track inventory and stock levels remotely, continuously, and in real time. IoT-based inventory management systems can not only alert companies when inventory levels are getting low, but also refill stock automatically.
• Reducing risk and streamlining compliance: Being out of compliance — whether for a shipment of frozen meat to a grocery store or blood samples to a medical lab — can put people’s health and safety at risk, and it can be very expensive. You can use IoT devices to track and trace perishable goods for improved risk management and compliance.