Despite rapidly increasing usage of the Internet of Things (IoT), many adopters of the technology are finding the massive amounts of data gained to be of little practical use.
In order to take advantage of their investment, says Bart Schouw, director of IBO solutions, Software AG, companies must be prepared to invest in IoT fully, not just in the bells and whistles.
The goal of implementing an IoT network is to gain insight on things like energy consumption and maintenance levels, ultimately automating decision-making to achieve maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
In order for these benefits to be realised, companies must first make sense of this data through proper context.
Making a good decision requires context – as far as possible – and enriching data with personalised algorithms and enabling fast decision-making with in-memory technology. Context can often be found in the data vaults of the enterprise. Customers and their profiles, the stock levels and other valuable information can all be found in these vaults. Any decision-making will be far more informed by integrating the wealth of insight.
Algorithms are key
Once context has been achieved, the data gathered through sensors has meaningful value, and the doors to real integration and automation are reachable. The key, however, lies in algorithms.
With the right algorithm, the data collected from machines in the field can be used to automatically build maintenance schedules or request more inventory, among many other uses.
This can only be achieved through investment in a corporation that’s able to create these complex algorithms, as well as the ability to conduct thorough analyses, and continue to evolve, as those algorithms will not be static. They will evolve for a number of reasons, which are often competitive. As soon as any competing companies do the same, a superior algorithms will be required to stand out. This is the essence of digitising a business – it will become an algorithm.
The growing amount of success stories have encouraged an increasing number of companies to start investing in IoT infrastructures. However, far too many have been practicing “innovation on the edge,” which involves small projects focused on experimentation rather than a return on investment.
While “innovation on the edge” projects can be useful for companies seeking to get a grasp on IoT, focusing too long on these projects can result in a nightmare situation of costly and confusing patchwork innovations. With companies in many different industries already making significant investments to move forward with IoT, innovation on the edge will no longer suffice.
As soon as a company realises this kind of innovation is not sustainable, it can begin to see the value of investing in a comprehensive IoT solution. They have the option to make themselves more robust – more efficient. They can do more with less and at the same time really derive value by performing an overarching analysis.
Significant and thoughtful investments into IoT, coupled with well-crafted algorithms, make it simple for companies to make sense of the mass amounts of data produced by their machines. By using these technologies to automate decision making, companies can build the ideal IoT environment, nurturing countless solutions necessary for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
The author is Bart Schouw, director of IBO solutions, Software AG
Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow