10 Facts You Need to Know About the Internet of Things

It is not too bold to say the Internet of Things (IoT) is just about everywhere. Some even say that IoT will have a greater impact on business and productivity than the introduction of the Internet itself. Whether you embrace it, or attempt to look past it, the wave of IoT has already started disrupting many industries.

So what exactly is the Internet of Things? Well, if you haven’t read the HBR article by Michael Porter and Jim Heppelmann, I encourage you to do so. I am referring to the concept that our physical and digital worlds, in which we have always compartmentalized into separate realities, have begun to converge into a single new reality.

This new reality with the IoT has started to change the way we do business. Our strategies have begun to take our physical products, parts components and factories, and connect them to our digital systems. This has allowed us to collect data, analytics, performance measures and much more.

Although there is so much that you can learn about IoT, Here are 10 things you need to know about the Internet of Things. 

 

1.  IoT Can Fuel Your Existing Business Initiatives

The Internet Things should not be thought about as something separate and distinct from your business strategy, but rather as an opportunity filled with unlimited capabilities. This revelation could possibly be the exact catalyst needed to meet your existing business initiatives. No matter what your business is specifically looking to achieve, IoT can be a real game-changer. Some businesses have used smart connected operations to discover efficiencies while reducing risk. Others have integrated smart connected products by modifying and creating new assets and services to increase revenue. I have also seen companies incorporate smart connected solutions to quickly bring products and services to the market. Despite your industry, an IOT strategy can be shaped to help fuel your existing initiatives.

 

2. Everyone Over Designs

Moving from IoT strategy to value is complex. There are lots of distractions and rabbit holes to go down. Achieving your IoT initiatives requires focus. By this, I am referring to the importance of strategically mapping out the innovation that you are looking to drive. Before deploying an IoT strategy, make sure to ask yourself if the concepts you are looking to implement match to the strategies you are pursuing.

 

3.  There Is No Time Like The Present

Don’t over think it, just get started. Your company has a chance to take part in one of the greatest economic value adding opportunities of a lifetime. This is your chance to embrace change and see all it has to offer. Companies that are able to identify the opportunities and quickly bring to market solutions with IoT will be the leaders of decades to come.

 

4.  Think Wrap/Extend, Not Rip/Replace

The idea behind integrating the IoT into your business strategy should evolve around bettering your processes, not replacing what you have done so far. This is your time to pro-actively use the IoT to drive growth and optimize your current business operations.

 

5.  The IoT Stack is a Huge Help

The IoT stack is a handy way to break down any IoT project into manageable chunks. Think about it this way. Before adopting innovative technologies your company must establish frameworks, protocols, and standards that are consistent with your business strategy. Your framework should revolve around the problems your business is looking to solve. By breaking down your IoT solution into 5 layers you can better understand the business technology tradeoffs that are needed at each level, and the system as a whole.

 

6.  Zealots and Laggards Are Everywhere. Beware.

It’s easy to get distracted by the daily grind and to put off getting started. Change is a scary thing for all of us, so it’s easy to procrastinate. Doing nothing is one of the biggest threats when it comes to the Internet of Things. The reality is, big change is what can define success. Don’t let your company develop a reputation as technical laggard in the IoT arena.

 

7.  Avoid The Simple Small Tool Sets

If you’ve ever heard the saying “go big or go home”, it defiantly applies to an IoT strategy. So often I see companies who are hesitant to make a big change, resorting to small easy to adapt ideas. If your company wants to see real results, you must avoid wasting your time on the small and simple projects. Running test pilots to assess potential value is not how you will reach your real strategic initiatives. To see change, you must make a change. This is when you need to roll up your sleeves and make a connection to your real business issues.

 

 8.  The Control Engineers Are The Key to Success

On IoT projects, get to the Controls engineer — this is who has the keys to unlock the room or path to data that might already exist. Who is your control engineer? This is the person that brings together disparate systems within your network. A good control engineer knows how to design, develop, and implement the systems that will control your specified applications, networks and machines.

 

9.  IoT is a Big Concept and Many Have Different Views

After introducing the concept of the Internet of Things to many different companies; it has become apparent there are many diverse views of IOT along with its purpose and benefit. It’s important to remember that two people who seem to differ on the topic of IOT may simply be looking at opposite sides of the same spectrum. IoT solutions offer limitless capabilities that can easily be tailored to your specific business needs. This means what IoT can offer for your business, may be completely different than the purpose and benefit it can offer for another.

 

 10.   There Is Always a Way To Do Something

The Internet of Things can be applied to just about every business strategy that exists; it’s just a matter of working at it.

For example, IoT has been used for the complex systems of products like John Deer’s Farmsight to optimize the farm, to simple examples like the Babilat tennis racket that provides data about a player’s performance. Device connectivity and data analytics enable a closed-loop, real time digital thread that can connect your people, systems, and equipment across the entire supply chain. With the rapid creation and developments of new IoT applications, any organization can connect, manage, and optimize complex sets of disparate systems. See how IoT goes beyond connecting products and has expanded to enable manufacturing and service processes by reading these case studies from PTC. When it comes to IoT, there is always a way to do something.