Smart watch (2)

Everything has become ‘smart’. Seemingly mundane items such as kettles and ovens are being equipped with sensors and microchips, connecting them to the internet. We, the consumer, can then instruct these appliances to turn on and off via our phones.

Gartner predicts that the number of wirelessly connected products will increase from approx. 5 billion today to 21 billion by 2020, with 80% of mobile data traffic from smartphones (according to The Ericsson mobility report). However, few people are using mobile apps for business.

Unsurprisingly, the internet of things (IOT) is likely to make the biggest impact on business, specifically enterprise mobility, making companies more productive and ultimately more profitable.

Recent research from Accenture revealed that almost 82% of the 2000 technology decision-makers that were surveyed, agreed that apps are integral to the success of their respective organisation.

For companies with staff who work in the field, mobile devices empower them to work more efficiently and collaboratively, potentially going as far as savings lives. Across markets, there are multiple examples of how the internet of things is changing the way we work.

Aircraft innovation

The IOT is making a real impact in the airline industry, through ‘engine health monitoring’. Companies such as Rolls-Royce are able to monitor key aspects of their jet engines such as temperature, pressures and speeds, by using dozens of sensors. This is data is collated and sent in real time to a team of technicians, who are able to analyse the information, ensuring defective parts can be replaced before they become an issue. The costs savings are potentially huge for Rolls-Royce, not to mention the lives that could be saved as a result of well-maintained engines.

Changing the oil industry

The oil industry is facing significant change. The global supply of oil is far surpassing demand, causing prices to drop dramatically, along with revenues. To address this, oil companies are leveraging the internet of things and enterprise mobility, reducing their production costs by becoming more operationally efficient. This means connecting oil wells, rigs and exploration devices to the internet, enabling them to gain valuable insights into how their assets are performing. As such, 62% of oil and gas executives worldwide say they will invest more than they currently do in technology (according to a recent Microsoft and Accenture survey). In addition to analysis, oil and gas companies will use the IOT, combined with mobility for analysis of data and surveying of land for potential extraction. By integrating IOT focused technologies, it is predicted that a $50 billion a year oil and gas company could increase its profits by nearly $1 billion (according to a Cisco study).

Technology in agriculture

Not usually recognised as a particularly innovative industry, agricultural companies are looking to new technology to improve their business. Measurement tools are now available, which capture key information on crop health, stored safely in the cloud, meaning the data is accessible anywhere, anytime from a mobile device. Farmers are then able to monitor and analyse the development of their crops via charts and reports via a web browser, enabling changes to be made where necessary.

Whilst the internet of things is changing the face of the airline, oil and agricultural industries, the potential across all enterprise is indisputable. Importantly, the IOT isn’t about making people redundant and technology impotent, it’s about empowering your mobile workforce to work more efficiently, effectively and importantly, with increased motivation and satisfaction. Using technology to work more intelligently will ultimately make you more money.

By Draven McConville, CEO, Klipboard