It Takes More Than Just ‘Things’ To Exploit IoT

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Three areas must be changed in the company for the Internet of Things: the people, the processes and the “things”.

IoT technologies should contribute to the improvement of company results, such as increased efficiency of operations, waste prevention or risk minimisation within the framework of decision-making. In this way, the transport company of a city can employ trains depending on demand and the number of passengers. Organisations can simplify processes with IoT and increase the value of their physical capability. A vehicle fleet company can optimise its truck control with a proactive service plan and therefore reduce fuel costs and prevent waiting times in the event of breakdowns.

As a result of IoT, operations become intelligent and transparent; thanks to interactive control, they also quickly bring about a higher level of efficiency. In addition, IoT provides companies with the opportunity to open up new markets with innovative products and services. For this reason, many companies are currently looking at ways to earn money with IoT, according to an independent study by the ESG market research institute. One third of the respondents had already initiated IoT projects and around half are planning them in the next year or two.

According to the study, the majority of the companies are planning to introduce the Internet of Things (IoT) via the use of sensors and the increased usage of data gained from this. However, the technical equipment is only one component. To optimally make use of the advantages, changes to the following three categories are required, according to ESG:

  • People: the creativity of the employees is required. They can develop ideas to determine how certain goals can be achieved by using IoT. The consideration of human and organisational behaviour is important for the appreciation and realisation of IoT. In addition, due to the changes in the company, the changes and the impact that they will have on people, as well as the advantages of IoT, must be clearly communicated.
  • Processes: differentiated thinking and action is called for. Companies should explain to their employees what results the new and quickly acquired findings from IoT produce, and what can be automated as a result of this. It is important to standardise operations and to institutionalise their execution. The changed requirements derived from the new IoT processes are recorded in functional and task descriptions or in manuals.
  • Things: the “T” in the Internet of Things is important; however, according to the findings of ESG, it is often the only area that the company sets its sights on during the introductory phase. The “things” are only a means to an end in order to create or, in some cases, also control the systems. The remaining system must be geared towards the effective use of data, such as targeted forwarding to the cloud, computer centre or edge computing, for example. And finally, the data must be analysed and understood so that a response to optimisation can occur.

 

Oliver Häußler is a BVEx Content Manager and Freelance Journalist in Munich.