With everything from watches to manufacturing plants, refrigerators to athletic apparel becoming increasingly connected, the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) is crystallizing. According to IDC, enterprises in the U.S. are poised to spend $232 billion on IoT technologies this year, with a prediction for that number to surpass a third of a trillion dollars ($357 billion) in 2019 .
Fierce competition arises among enterprises spanning industries, all vying to harness the wealth of IoT data and be the first to create the most efficient products and services. The winners in this competition will do more than just process data well – they will unlock everyday value from real-time information. Let’s take a look at three industries undergoing a wave of real-time enhancements to redefine what’s possible for their businesses.
More than 300 million electric, water, and gas meters are in service in the United States today . Each meter represents a source of streaming data to be captured. The next step is analyzing all of the meter data to identify patterns, predict usage, and ultimately increase efficiency. IoT has the power to transform every meter in the city into an energy efficient smart service that can make autonomous adjustments depending on readings showing high or low usage.
One key requirement for enabling IoT is the ability to analyze real-time and historical data together. This provides a base of comparison and also helps with predictive analytics. Companies that enact these kinds of advanced analytics, identify patterns faster and stay more competitive because they can anticipate device or user behavior. Proactivity over reactivity will win the market.
Here’s another example: Wind farms equip individual wind turbines with IoT sensors that continuously emit data about their efficiency and health. Companies can review this data and proactively repair windmills before they encounter mechanical issues. The information provided by these sensors, when analyzed in real time, saves companies time and money by preventing mechanical failures.
Transportation and Logistics
Transportation and logistics encompasses manufacturing, shipping, distribution, and retailing; all of these applications are comprised of many moving parts, such as location monitoring, mechanical operations, and data flow. IoT implementations across this industry can improve speed of delivery, provide personalized customer service with real-time tracking of shipments, and optimize the efficiency of vehicles of transportation by monitoring fuel consumption and mechanical health.
For example, Delta Air Lines enables passengers to monitor their baggage from their phones while their journey is in progress. IoT sensors attached to luggage track the exact location and trajectory of packages ensuring safe and timely delivery that customers can trust. Additionally, Airlines like Delta utilize IoT solutions to improve passenger experience, tracking pets in transit, equipment monitoring, and generating fuel efficiencies .
IoT not only connects devices but also increases human connectivity through improved public resource management. Companies operating as part of the public sector work with enormous amounts of data, often petabytes, on a daily basis. For example, in the event of a natural disaster, governments can process petabytes of information in real time about security and stability in affected locations, which they then send out to alert people in unsafe areas.
By adopting IoT platforms that stream real-time data at sub-second speeds, these companies can evolve their analytics practices from descriptive to predictive, and eventually prescriptive. Prescriptive analytics moves beyond the what and the why of analytics, and develops actionable responses for businesses to take based on data. These smart responses cultivate opportunities for companies to dramatically increase decision making agility and stop errors before they occur. Advanced analytics on real-time IoT data empowers policy changes and program administration that enables society to benefit directly from the work their government performs on a daily basis.
In addition, the growth of connected devices and systems in the public sector improves employee productivity, reduces operating costs, utilizes public resources more efficiently, and creates new revenue streams for municipal and regional governments .
Energy, transportation and logistics, and the public sector are not the only fields benefiting from real-time analysis of IoT data. The pervasive nature of IoT grows every day and the ways that businesses utilize this wealth of information continues to change. Real time is the key to unlocking the potential of IoT data and bringing data-driven decisions to the forefront of human activities.
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