Why should companies adopt IoT? Well, the “T” in IoT stands for Things – and there are an awful lot of Things – not just in your company, but in your car, in your home, in your healthcare, supermarket, even in the kitchen of your favourite takeaway. The list is growing daily, and is only limited by your imagination about what can be measured and how.
This is the crux of why it is important to adopt IoT. It’s not just about putting sensors in things. But it is what we can then do with the data – exploiting the Power of Now. What we can do depends upon the time, context, and potential benefit.
Consider tracking employees’ movement in the workplace. Five years ago, this would have been considered Orwellian and Big Brotherish, an infringement on our personal liberty, rejected by employees and make the company undesirable to work for. Last year it was a must-do, to try to understand the spread of COVID-19.
This year, and moving forward, Contact Tracing will be critical to the safe reopening of our workplaces. Contact Tracing is one of the visible signs of caring for employees (and visitors) welfare, ensuring social distancing and in the event of a confirmed episode, critical to determine who else could be at risk. IoT Horizon has a solution for Contact Tracing – MPWR:Track – which collects data on which device was in close proximity to other devices (and therefore determine who) and for how long. MPWR:Track provides a real time alarm, both audible and vibration for noisy environments alarm which alerts individuals when social distance have been breached. However, one of the spin- off benefits is we can optimise our workplaces, identifying areas of congestions or underutilised areas, ensuring our workplaces remain safe whilst minimising costs.
5 reasons to adopt IoT
- GATHER ACCURATE, TIMELY DATA: Many businesses end up making sub-optimal decisions based on inaccurate or out of date information. Gartner  have calculated this can impact profit margins by as much as 3%. The main reason is lack of good, relevant information. You don’t know what you can’t measure. IoT allows organisations to exploit the “Power of Now”, collect data in real time and analyse it to predict, alert, and prevent errors leading to much better business outcomes. For example, data collected by MPWR:Track devices can predict, warn, and prevent illnesses being transmitted from an infected individual.
- BETTER USE OF RESOURCES AND ASSETS: Searching for assets takes time and reduces staff productivity. For example, Nurses can spend as much as 10% of their time looking for the right piece of equipment.  Using IoT not only helps businesses to find assets, but also monitor the assets condition, as well as keeping records of an asset’s full transactional history, use, movements, issues, returns, and inspections and ultimate disposal. This means assets can be sweated to deliver the optimal outcome to the business.
- WORK TOWARDS A SAFE, PRODUCTIVE, AND A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: Providing a safe working environment goes without saying but for certain sized companies, this means not only having health and safety procedures, but also reviewing and occasionally being audited to ensure compliance. Providing evidence of health and safety being followed can be difficult and time consuming. Often this involves a manual audit. IoT can help automate this by monitoring and continuously capturing data on the working environment, how work is done (for example, safe lone working) and the impact work has on employees’ health and well-being as well as productivity. For example, ensure that the working environment meets WELL Building standard to improve health and safety regulations and increase productivity. IoT Horizon’s MPWR:Sense product captures data such as temperature, air particulates, Co2 levels, and humidity.
- CONTROL OF OPERATION PROCESSES AND MACHINES: The average downtown in manufacturing has been estimated to be around 15 hour per week . Depending upon industry the cost of downtime will vary, an Automotive Manufacturer may experience downtime costs in the region of £20,000 per minute, for process industries like steel manufacturing this is much higher due to shutdown and restart costs. However, the majority of defects can be predicted if the correct information such as vibration, temperature, noise, air quality, energy consumption etc, is gathered. By retrofitting sensors on machine plant, operations teams can access real-time data on the condition of the machine predicting the ongoing operational efficiency as well as identifying the next preventative maintenance window. The majority of downtime can be prevented by timely remedial actions, realising significant cost savings and revenue realisation.
- NEW REVENURE STREAMS AND BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES: Most companies have been collecting data for years, yet rarely analyse the data collected. IoT Horizon has helped a number of businesses identify how they can use that data to deliver insights about more efficient operations, identify new revenue streams or even to identify entirely new lines of business. Picking up trends from historical data is a start however the real value comes from using Machine Learning and Automation on the real time data is even more powerful as future mistakes and outages can be avoided or short-term micro trends full exploited. Reselling the insights from the trends identified as an add-on service helps generate additional lines of revenue. Implementing IoT solutions will help businesses to capture data that can be used to enhance the quality of products/services, improve efficiency of the business, and identify new lines of revenue.
So IoT is more than just putting a sensor on things and calling them SMART. Just as the PC revolution in the early 90’s transformed the way we worked in the office, and Smart Phones have extended this to being mobile, IoT is the next major transformative wave. IoT is about being able to measure, in real time, what is happening in our business, home, health, basically everything, and then act or react accordingly.
In short, IoT is about harnessing the Power of Now to deliver better outcomes and that is the best reason to adopt the Internet of Things.
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