A common statement amongst historians of the 1849 gold rush, was that the people who were most likely to make money from their endeavors were the ones who made tools for the miners, and not the actual miners themselves.
As so many great industries including transportation, manufacturing, technology, energy, and healthcare pursue the luxuries their companies afford as they reach success with Industrial IoT (IIoT), this colloquial wisdom stands true as IIoT equips them with the information and data in order to do their businesses more effectively. It’s no wonder why over half the companies who successfully use this technology have reported increases in revenue.
To understand why this is, we must look to the challenges industries are working to overcome and how IIoT helps them cross this digital and business chams. Imagine if you’re part of the power grid in the center of Phoenix, Arizona, with temperatures averaging above a hundred degrees and reported lows of 30 degrees (at its coldest). For your region, controlling temperature to make it livable for everyday life is a critical foundation of the city.
In fact, the ability to route power to the specific area experiencing a meteorological event and so efficiently is the source of millions of dollars in energy and utility spend across the region and our country. In fact, by cooling off homes in a specific region before a heat wave hits, regions are saving millions of dollars on the energy grid and receiving money back from the government for doing so.
This story goes on across many other industries. As transportation leaders including airlines innovate maintenance of their planes every hour to improve safety and takeoff times or the healthcare industry decreases misinformation by improving the flow of data; the industries who have data closest to the problem or provide people data enough to make decisions faster is key.
By 2025, 75% of data in these industries are expected to move out of the company’s environments and in our environments – an area known as the edge. At the edge, companies are moving IIoT closer to where business and enabling key decisions and outcomes to take place in the field much like IoT is allowing everyday consumers like you and me to have better experiences in our homes, commutes to work and leisure today. Overall this massive shift in data is a pretty big jump from the 10% of industrial data at the edge today.
This industry is growing at a rate far greater than most and is estimated to be close to 1T dollars by 2025. So why is it that industries across high tech, transportation, energy, manufacturing, and healthcare are receiving such a big value with the introduction of IIoT? In order to see the value it brings to these industries, we have to dive into what’s happening at companies in these industries today and the opportunity they might achieve tomorrow.
For many of these industries, their systems, production mechanisms and technology were created up to 30 years ago. From aging facilities and oil rigs in Southern California pumping energy out of the ground to the modern-day automobile engine — not much has changed in the mechanics that contribute to these highly reliable systems.
With Industrial IoT, companies are able to attach sensors or even make decisions at the edge which reduces the time it would take to get information back to the office or a car shop, respectively. With all those round trips of data and information, it’s like traveling across around the country expecting to get to your destination in the city nearby, faster.
The change for these traditional systems can bring about capabilities never thought of before. Business processes like predictive maintenance in manufacturing and transportation, a technique which replacing industrial parts before they fail, are both the source of the highest cost and most dangerous systems if they fail in operations. By allowing companies to more effectively operate this high dollar operation, this sector is proving new values.
Even in the energy sector and healthcare, where having continuous operations and avoiding system downtime, may mean the difference between life and death. Across many in this arena, industrial IoT is allowing the companies in these industries to achieve new forms of business innovation and transformation unseen in the industry.
As business leaders, managers and experts across the industry look to where they should bring about their next innovation, it’s no wonder why IIoT is key. It will be critical for any industry that operates in the field, even defense and aerospace; to leverage this technology. With the introduction into the aforementioned business sectors, it will not only lead to advancement but re-shape the way they achieve their products, business, and these innovative destinations altogether.
If you’re a manager in transportation, high tech, manufacturing, factory automation, energy or healthcare, look no further for the technology that’s disrupting the industry. With over 50% of companies reporting increases in revenue when they successfully get there, it’s no wonder why IIoT is and will continue to see close to 30% compounded growth.
Whether so many industries can reach the digital nirvana that takes place when sensors and information can drive the decisions which can be made in their natural environment is yet to be fully realized. My hope is that much like the 49ters, these industries get the tools they deserve to bring us into a new age we’ve never seen before. Joseph Zulick is a writer and manager at MRO Electric and Supply.