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IT Innovation | May 3, 2017

6 Reasons Why Companies Need IoT

By: Kirk Carlsen

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During my time as a professional cyclist, I learned that the more information and technology I could leverage, the faster I rode. As technology improved, the data and insights I collected from daily training optimized my performance. I monitored things like heart rate, power, and nutrition and incorporated all of it into my routine.

The more I analyzed and integrated this data into my training regimen, the better I began to understand how sensitive each individual aspect of my lifestyle was and how information delivered key indications of my fitness. In a sport where races are won and lost sometimes by inches, any increase in my fitness, even if it was only 1 percent, could mean the difference between winning and losing. If I could have connected my entire body to sensors that delivered real-time insights to increase performance, I would have.

In athletics, I was just touching the surface of how to incorporate information technology into understanding human potential. Luckily for business, similar enterprise transformations are possible today by using key technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT). With the visibility and analytics delivered by connected devices, companies can make the right decisions at the right time, safeguarding profitability and customer service. And not unlike cycling, small percentages in improvement for a business could mean the difference between establishing competitive advantage or dropping behind the pack. So, here are six key reasons why I think organizations across every industry need to adopt IoT into their digital transformation strategy.

1. Increase Visibility Across Siloed Business Functions to Improve Business Maturity.

With billions of connected devices transmitting potentially valuable information, you can begin leveraging market awareness and measuring performance within your organization. With the evolution of digital business, operating models are shifting to derive business value and competitive differentiation from visibility and predictive capabilities. The digital journey begins by integrating these once siloed functions into end-to-end driven complete architectures. IoT is the digital thread that brings these functions together.

2. Drive Innovation with Data Analytics.

Connected devices and new sources of data streams are driving companies to reevaluate their current business models and adopt entirely new operating models. IoT breaks down the barrier between the customer and the organization. With data provided by connected devices, and by cycling that data back into the business, businesses can make intelligent business decisions that start with service and drive new innovations that meet expectations.

3. Improve Efficiency with Fleet Monitoring.

Companies can now deliver real-time insights into how their fleet is being operated and interacting with the environment. Connecting fleets and cargo to IoT empowers companies to keep their equipment on the road, improve customer experience with improved ETA forecasting, and reduce unnecessary costs. IoT enables businesses to track driver behaviors and utilize data analytics to perform predictive maintenance. By deeper data to their logistics processes, companies can make informed decisions and leverage predictive intelligence that adds value and optimize their supply chains.

4. Gain Real-time Insights from Connected Assets.

By tracking their assets in real time from any device, businesses can gain a valuable understanding of where their assets are and how they are performing. When an asset needs preventative maintenance, it can automatically notify field service technicians to assess the situation. With the ability to monitor the environment of an asset for temperature, humidity, and location, companies can reduce costly waste from spoilage or even know when an asset has been moved to prevent possible theft. Insights from connected assets enable organizations to predict maintenance and streamline their supply chain to enhance overall customer experience.

5. Increase Production with Data Analytics.

Equipment needs to run efficiently—breakdowns can be extremely costly to an organization. By being able to receive real-time data on how machinery is operating, businesses can quickly diagnose a problem before a catastrophic failure has a chance to reduce margins. With IoT, a company can compare one factory to another and take appropriate measures to ensure all factories and production lines are running smoothly. When these insights are tightly integrated within a supply chain, companies can stay competitive without having costly downtime and deliver the right products at the right time.

6. Monitor Workers to Mitigate Risk.

By connecting employees to wearable IoT, companies can gain greater visibility into their worksites. In hazardous conditions, a company can monitor the health, location, and compliance of individual workers to ensure safety. With the data collected, businesses can improve policies, adhere to regulations, and prevent accidents. IoT-enabled automation and labor tracking will deliver increased productivity and reduce costly mistakes.

Businesses should not adopt technology just for the sake of having the latest and greatest capabilities. They must first understand what problems they are trying to solve, learn how a new technology may be a solution to that problem, and ensure they align it with their overall business strategy. In the case of IoT, a company can utilize available resources, take appropriate steps, and increase efficiency that improves their business maturity.

Don’t fall behind the pack, lead the way with IoT!

>> For more information on how your company can benefit from the Internet of Things, visit cloud.oracle.com/iot-apps

Kirk Carlsen is PLM Cloud Product Marketing Analyst at Oracle. Follow him on Twitter @kcarlsenjr and connect on LinkedIn.

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