While there’s no doubt that interest in the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) is running high both inside and out of IT departments, the practicality of implementing IoT applications can be daunting for most organizations. To help address that issue, ServiceMax today launched Connected Field Service, an IoT application delivered via the cloud that integrates data collected from embedded systems within a field service application.
Athani Krishna, chief strategy officer for ServiceMax, says the company is leveraging a ThingWorx IoT platform developed by PTC to access data from IoT endpoints. That data is fed via ThingWorx back to the ServiceMax field service application, which turns that data into actionable intelligence that field service technicians can use to change a process or transform a customer experience. As part of that effort, ServiceMax also announced today that its ProductIQ application running on a mobile device can now open a window into an embedded system to capture data in real time.
While the IoT offers a massive amount of potential in terms of extending the reach of IT, in practice, many IoT scenarios currently require the expertise needed to build and deploy distributed applications on a massive scale. In the case of field service, Krishna says, ServiceMax is making a case for extending an existing packaged field service application using a ThingWorx IoT platform that substantially reduces that complexity.
Obviously, field service is only one of many potential IoT scenarios. But in terms of having the most immediate impact on a business, IoT data fed into a field service application provides a use case where the return on the IoT investment is both tangible and comparatively immediate. In contrast, many of the cases for IoT may require multiple years of investments before generating enough data to make investing in a custom Big Data analytics application worth the time and effort.
None of this means that organizations shouldn’t plow ahead when it comes to investing in the IoT. But it does mean they should start to set some expectations around when those IoT investments will actually pay off.