Four Ways to Unlock Value from the Internet of Things

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Operate: Using the asset to control its surroundings.

This model builds on the well-established realm of "operational technology," which is technology used to manage the equipment and processes inside manufacturing plants. Operational technology is increasingly moving away from the proprietary and isolated architectures of the past to exploit more mainstream technology, software and architectures and, in doing so, coming in some cases under the CIO's and the IT department's purview. A simple example is to control a valve, but in a more complex example, the data from thousands of sensors might combine weather and atmospheric conditions with water flow, pressure and depth information to manage entire water supply or irrigation systems. It will reduce the need to physically visit the remote device, and avoid hazardous environmental conditions around the device.

Diverse Internet of Things trials are forming a sea of noise that often obscures the business opportunities available, according to Gartner, Inc.

"As the Internet of Things grows rapidly, it is linking millions of assets, including devices, people and places, to deliver and share information, enhancing business value and competitive advantage, and creating new business opportunities," said Hung LeHong, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "In this early and emergent phase of development, entrepreneurs are experimenting across such a diverse range of sectors, applications, business models and technologies in their efforts to uncover value. This creates confusion and makes it difficult for others to easily identify the potential in their own geographies, industries and business sectors."

Mr. LeHong said that although the Internet of Things has a very wide applicability, some enterprises may be too quick to dismiss the value of the Internet of Things in their enterprises because the examples of what other enterprises are doing don't match their own environments.

"A recycling company or vending machine operator, for example, may not find any applicability for the Internet of Things when reviewing how a hospital is connecting its patient-monitoring equipment to the Internet of Things. However, on closer inspection, these companies will discover that the reason the hospital has connected its equipment is to cut costs on nurses' rounds to monitor patients," explained Mr. LeHong. "Any company operating remote devices has opportunities to use this same model. Remote assets that require manual rounds for the purposes of emptying or replenishment, such as recycling bins or vending machines, can benefit from the same approach the hospital took. The underlying commonality is the business case to reduce the costs from doing the rounds by connecting assets to monitor status."

Despite their diversity, Gartner believes that all current examples can be simply categorized into four basic usage scenarios, each of which presents clear business opportunities for end-user organizations.

 

Related Topics : Vulnerabilities and Patches, Resellers, Broadcom, Broadband Services, Supercomputing

 
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