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Why businesses need to take advantage of Big Data, IoT and AI now

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/wk1003mike)

With competition higher than ever before, it’s no secret that in order to keep up and surpass competitor’s businesses must adopt the latest innovations. New technologies are coming together at an unprecedented rate to provide services for enterprise and businesses that don’t adopt these platforms will risk falling behind.

The Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have all been subjected to enormous media hype, which of course should be taken with a pinch of salt, but also mustn’t be ignored. These three, if executed effectively, hold an immense potential to transform global enterprise. In fact, they have already made a significant impact across various industries over the last decade, empowering the exponential boom of insight, innovation and progress framing modern enterprise as we know it.

Yet, it is surprising to note that businesses are only scratching the surface when it comes to taking full advantage of what these three technologies have to offer. With the rate of progress only getting faster, there is no better time for businesses to delve deeper into what the holy tech trinity can do for their future growth.

Power in numbers - IoT, Big Data and AI 

‘Three’s a crowd’ - the age old saying that in many cases rings true. However, with the tech trinity this is definitely not the case. This presumptuous mindset is creating a lack of understanding around all three individual technologies - IoT, Big Data and AI -  and how they can work harmoniously together, which in turn is preventing business leaders from taking full advantage of this trinity.

IoT is the epitome of an IT ecosystem – a global network of connected devices, ranging from household devices to industry machines and buildings, open to every and any application. The sensors, known as ‘dumb’ sensors, within these smart devices collect and exchange copious amounts of data from every single connected device.

As it stands, we are expected to reach 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020, with the global total global worth of IoT reaching $6.2 trillion – lead by devices in health care ($2.5 trillion) and manufacturing ($2.3 trillion) by 2025. Regarding consumer devices, global predictions are totalling $725 billion by the end of this year alone, according to Gartner.

The abundant amounts of data gathered through the IoT every day is referred to as Big Data. The data is so extensive that companies are struggling to keep up while relying on existing legacy systems that are still in place. Companies must begin to revolutionise their data processing systems to avoid falling quickly behind as the data collected gets more intricate and advanced.

Data is only useful when it is actionable, so the main value of Big Data comes from the analysis. This is where AI, sometimes referred to as deep machine learning, comes into its own. Through these highly sophisticated algorithms, big data can be analysed at a greater speed and precision than ever before.

Mimicking the human brain, deep machine learning algorithms learn and store data sets from repetitive analysis. From this analysis, it can identify trends based on the received data; the more data fed through the network, the more algorithms build upon the data and then ‘learn’ to autonomously maintain its own database. The ultimate goal of these machines, albeit quite far off just yet, will be to predict trends and insights without any human interaction.

The future is now 

It is clear to see the benefits of IoT, Big Data and AI for enterprise, yet many are still waiting around. It’s time to stop future gazing, and act now.

The combination of vast sets of data (Big Data), coming from an endless number of devices across nearly every industry (IoT) that can now be analysed in near on real-time noting existing trends and predicting future ones means that enterprise has the potential for insight at an unprecedented level. These technologies working in harmony is invaluable for providing business leaders with evidence to make decisions from almost any source that would have been previously based on a gut feeling.

Manufacturing is leading the way in adopting a “tech trinity” ecosystem approach. Studies have shown that in some industries, machine downtime can cost companies up to £18,000 for every minute a machine is out of action. Now, machines can be monitored on a 24/7 basis by embedding sensors on the machines, creating a central network to anticipate failures before they happen. Learning from these failures and how they are fixed, the deep learning networks can schedule maintenance with the most appropriately skilled engineer - a model that Oneserve Infinite runs on already - giving the potential to alleviate machine down time altogether.

The cost saving potential for these manufacturing companies is indispensable when it comes to field service management. Our whitepaper, a guide to efficiency in field service management, revealed that over a third (38 per cent) of organisations can save more than 30 minutes a day, per engineer with a simple change in process. In real money terms, this can save each company £525,000 per year. 

Of course, with an increasingly efficient business comes increasingly satisfied customers. An unsurprisingly high percentage of consumers (73 per cent) say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can provide them. A further 68 per cent of 18-34-year-olds will cut off business with a brand due a single instance of poor customer service. The modern consumer values their time higher than money. With the tech trinity working together, creating a faster and more reliable service, enterprises will see a solid customer retention and ultimately, a more successful business.

Industries across the globe, from healthcare, banking, government, education, and security are slowly starting to harness the tech trinity ecosystem to great effect. For example, biometric software is becoming common place in hospitals. Using data collected from sensors attached to machines that monitor heartbeats, faces and veins etc., the deep learning machines can detect and warn doctors of any irregularities that may be a cause for concern with patients. From this, it is predicted that the NHS will be entirely paper free by 2020.

As IoT and deep learning networks continuously develop, the possibilities they present to global enterprise increase exponentially. The tech trinity ecosystem of Big Data, IoT and AI enables real-time analysis of important data that would otherwise go unused. As well as enhanced security, customer experience, lower costs and higher revenues, business will have the power to make key educated business decisions. Ultimately, this is the reason why business must take advantage of the tech trinity if they want to stay ahead of their competitors.

Chris Proctor, CEO, Oneserve
Image source: Shutterstock/wk1003mike

Chris Proctor
Chris Proctor is a leading figure within the field service management industry. As CEO of Oneserve, an award-winning cloud-based predictive field service management software provider, Chris is pioneering the latest machine learning technology for service management companies.