Early IoT adopters are achieving competitive advantage

The Internet of Things (IoT) is already having an impact on industries from healthcare to retail. Business leaders should act now to gain the advantage that early adopters are starting to achieve from the new technology.

Innovative companies are already using network-connected sensors and analytics to collect, exchange and analyze data—in order to monitor and improve the performance of things and people. High volume manufacturing facilities are using sensors and software analytics to spot process and product variances - to facilitate early correction of problems, reduce defects and drive efficiency. Densely placed sensors are monitoring and calibrating variable elements like temperature, pressure and viscosity to improve high-value production processes.

The oil and gas industry is reducing downtime in oil fields, pipeline networks and refineries by identifying performance degradation that predicts equipment failure. Electric utilities are expanding the use of sensors called phasor measurement units (PMUs) to enable responses in near real-time to events like lightning strikes and transformer failures. Heavy truck industries are using streaming data from engines and subsystems to identify potential break-downs, schedule preventive maintenance and trigger requisition of parts needed to make repairs. In the automotive space, onboard diagnostic data is being used to detect equipment failure, safety risks, and defects—in single vehicles and across fleets. Retailers are using beacons and in-store video tracking to deliver targeted messaging based on the location of customers who have opted into the retailer’s app.  

Who remembers the old Tom Cruise film Minority Report? Here is how it works. Small wireless devices that continuously transmit a simple radio signal picked up by nearby smartphones using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology called ‘beacons’ are at the heart of this innovation. A consumer’s mobile device reads the beacon’s identification number, calculates the distance to the beacon and triggers an action in a beacon-compatible mobile app. As the customer passes end-of-aisle displays or other areas of potential interest, the store can generate a promotional message or coupon to their mobile device tailored to their profile and purchase history. As the customer moves through the store, real-time analytics are assessing which promotions to offer, as well as the timing and frequency of offers. The result? New kinds of in-store interaction, including personalized offers based on customers’ preferences and online as well as in-store behavior.

CEOs, CFOs and other business leaders should take note: IoT innovation is proving its value across industries. Do you have a program to prototype and pilot IoT to create competitive advantage?

Author: George Nistor Senior ICT Sales and Business Development Deutsche Telekom AG
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