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Unlocking business value with a connected IoT ecosystem

Kevin Wo, Senior Vice President and General Manager ASEAN, Avanade | July 15, 2016
IoT strategy is now a must-have for businesses to improve efficiency, speed innovation and spur digital business transformation.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

An Internet of Things (IoT) strategy is no longer just an option for businesses, it's a must-have. The promise of IoT is that it will improve efficiency, speed innovation and spur digital business transformation.

However, with Gartner recently predicting that 6.4 billion connected "things" will be in use globally and 5.5 million "things" will get connected daily during 2016, organisations need to move fast to take advantage of IoT or risk being left behind. 

A huge amount of data can be gathered from interconnected devices, sensors and monitors in an IoT ecosystem. Organisations recognise the potential for this data to drive business value and new revenue streams. In fact, we see some clients collecting data purely with the hope that it will be a differentiator in the future.

Ultimately, data itself is meaningless; it is how it is translated to relevant and actionable insights that value is secured. Yet, research indicates less than one per cent of the world's data is currently analysed, an issue that will only be further exacerbated by the proliferation of data from IoT.

As Singapore embarks on its journey to becoming a Smart Nation, we can expect more "things" to get connected with the deployment of an extended network of sensors and smart technologies - and not only traditional innovators in industries like financial services and high technology.

Take the example of Hong Kah North Community Club (CC) in Bukit Batok, which recently introduced two "smart" bins equipped with a trash compactor and sensors that detect how full the bin is on an hourly basis. Previously, cleaners would have to make three to four trips a day to check on the bins, and because daily operations rely on these trips, there was no way to cut corners. That's the neat thing about IoT; data gathered is more accessible and actionable, freeing employees to be more productive and perform more value-added tasks. 

Building an IoT ecosystem

To succeed in unlocking business value, organisations need to deliver insights from data to the right people, in a way they can easily digest. This doesn't have to be overwhelming, at least not with a solid IoT strategy. Regardless of process or industry, this strategy should enable a connected IoT ecosystem that includes: 

  • Operating technology (OT), which generates and manages production systems data
  • Information technology (IT), which manages information systems in CRM, ERP and other enterprise systems, as well as provides capabilities such as machine learning, predictive analytics and workplace systems
  • Future technology (FT), which will likely include advances in robotics, wearable technology and video analytics.


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