A company's success is now directly linked to how well it connects applications, data and devices. But the notion of what a ‘device’ is has changed radically.
Today, it means anything that isn't a traditional web client. Sensors, connected machinery, street lighting, and appliances, among other things, are all being connected to an Internet of Things (IoT). We hear a lot about consumer devices in the press, but the value of IoT in the enterprise space doesn’t lie in the devices themselves. Rather, it lies in the data they collect and the way the enterprise either reacts to that data or uses it to create new services and products.
IoT in the enterprise comes down to using connected devices to improve customer experience and drive operational efficiency. There are three approaches to improving customer experience:
- Extending an existing business model, for example Amazon Dash, whereby a Dash Button can be attached to appliances around the home, and when pushed, processes a delivery request
- Creating a new business model, for example, service monitoring for devices like power generators
- Creating new products and customer experiences, for example Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, which let consumers, mix 50 flavours to their own taste - providing important market research data.
For operational efficiency the use case models fall into a couple of categories:
- The addition of sensors to machinery enabling analysis of data relating to changes in state, for example the monitoring of a farming irrigation system.
- Efficient collection of data that already exists at remote locations, for example, instrumenting factory sites to monitor production remotely.