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Robert Trnovec
Robert Trnovec 29 October 2015
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The Benefits Of The Internet of Things And How To Realize Them

All companies should start evaluating IoT and how to implement it in their operations.

This is the concluding post in the series of posts about the Internet of Things (IoT). Let’s just recapitulate briefly, what IoT is – it is about devices that can connect to the internet, other devices and humans to send data and information. This data is then analysed to create business or personal value.



This value is enormous. I wrote about several companies that already benefitted from IoT, but let’s look briefly at how IoT could and will benefit individual industries.

• A 1% gain in fuel efficiency in the Commercial Aviation industry translates to $30 billion over 15 years
• A 1% efficiency improvement in the worldwide gas-fired power plant fleet could save $66 billion in fuel consumption
• By improving 1% in process efficiencies in healthcare globally the industry could yield more than $63 billion in healthcare savings
• In transport and logistics, a 1% improvement could yield a gain of $27 billion in fuel savings for freight across rail networks

So where should you begin so you can reap these benefits? It’s really not that hard and I recommend you start with the infrastructure you already have. If you’re in healthcare, look at connecting patient monitors, tablets, signage and other equipment. In manufacturing, think about using sensors on the factory floor to communicate with your business systems for improved planning and control. Retailers can consider how smarter POS terminals can increase cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.

This means that you should connect what you already have. There is already a host of small computing solutions, such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino and Edison that you can get and use. And the best news is that you already have the most modern environment and tools that we’ve delivered with Windows 10 for tiny devices. You can utilize the skills that you already have to develop new apps that span from the smallest devices to 64-processor monster servers in a datacentre.

Before starting to roll out your IoT initiative, it could be difficult to decide exactly who to partner with. I can only recommend that you should look for a partner with a comprehensive offering that covers everything from devices and communication to the cloud and advanced services and BI features. At Microsoft, we are currently working hard to create a complete stack that stretches from a Raspberry Pi in a device on the factory floor to business intelligence and machine learning capabilities in the cloud.

I completely understand that it might be difficult to start considering implementing a concept that might seem nebulous. I assure you it is not. The forecasts on the size of IoT depend on who you ask, but one thing is clear – it will be big. Ericsson, Cisco, and others have said there will be 50 Billion (or more) connected devices by 2020. Earlier this month, those numbers were dwarfed by an IDC prediction which said the installed base of things connected will be at 212 billion by the end of 2020.

This data speaks for itself. It is not something that any company can afford to just let go by. I encourage all companies and organizations to start evaluating IoT and how to implement it in their operations. This is a disruptive wave that will not be avoided.

 

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