A road map for navigating the Internet of Things

B+B SmartWorx

Mike Fahrion, VP of IoT Technology at B+B SmartWorx

While the Internet of Things (IoT) may be a simple concept, making that concept profitable and transformative isn’t a light switch event for any business. The Internet of Things is really a journey. And like any journey, it’s best to start with a road map.

Mike Fahrion, VP of IoT Technology at B+B SmartWorx, outlines the four steps you should follow to get the most of your IoT journey.

Step 1: Connect your existing equipment and start collecting meaningful data

The journey begins with connectivity. Remember those billions of new IoT connections everyone has been swooning about? The reality is about 90% of those connections are existing devices and assets. Outside of the consumer world, nobody is expecting perfectly good equipment to be taken out of service and thrown away. So, your first step is to get connectivity to your devices and assets, and start to collect meaningful data.

Step 2: Analyze your data and expect some surprises

With your new-found data, you’ll enter a new level of situational awareness. This is going to take a little bit of analytical work on your end, but you’ll have a new-found understanding of how your resources and assets are really being used. In our experience, some of that data is going to surprise – and even shock – you.

Step 3: Data becomes insight and insight increases efficiency

Next is your first return on investment. Here, you’re going to optimize your use of assets and resources based on the data you previously gathered. At this stage, for processes that were previously unmonitored and probably unmanaged, you’re going to see some huge results.

For example, who knew that more than 50% of their irrigation water was likely wasted in run-off? Or that 30% of the energy of your biggest energy- consumer in the plant is likely wasted? Or that your fleet vehicles are idling more than 60% of the time?

Step 4: Innovation and increase the value of your services and products

When you reach this phase, you’ve optimized your resources. You’re probably even starting to scare some of your competitors. But you’re not done. You’re really just getting started. At this stage you can start to innovate and produce new value streams for your customers. You can start to introduce predictive capabilities, even prescriptive capabilities, to start to increase the value of your products.

Your journey into the Internet of Things has the capability to ultimately transform your business. And like any journey, it all begins with a single step.

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