Costs are a major consideration, but from better
engaging with your customers to improving regulatory compliance, IoT
technologies offer a wide range of business benefits.
The Internet of Things can enhance compliance processes
by sensing a wide variety of conditions: temperature, humidity, air pressure,
smoke, proximity, light, radiation, toxic gases, weight, speed, momentum,orientation,
electromagnetism, vibration, sonic levels, speech and much more. As conditions
move dangerously close to non-compliance, automated remedies, alerts, alarms
and escalations can be triggered, while the events are logged for later
reference. We are seeing compliance-focused IoT applications in everything from
agriculture to transportation.
At a modern slaughterhouse, an IoT application for food
traceability tracks the entire supply chain so that any individual cut of meat
can be traced to the source animal.
Greyhound, as an example, is loading every bus with new
technology, including adaptive cruise control and sensors on brakes, so it can
assess drivers' safety compliance.
The Internet of Things can
also reduce risk across a wide variety of business processes. Applications for
perimeter access control, avalanche early-warning systems, fire detection,
pollutant monitoring, leak detection, tampering detection, and many other risk
reduction and avoidance systems are using IoT technologies.
For example, an IoT application currently controls
backstage access to hundreds of sporting and entertainment venues across the
United States through a network of pass readers and access-control devices.
ROI of the IoT
Although there are ample
opportunities to leverage IoT technologies, before a company calculates areturn on investment(ROI), there are several other pieces
that need to be in place. Millions of micro-transactions per second—involving
vast networks of sensors, controllers, beacons, smartphones, tablets and other
devices—will require systems that can handle large volumes of data using
You will also need integration platforms to enable data sharing between
customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and back-end financial and manufacturing systems.
However, the benefits far
outweigh the costs. Consider, for example, all of the increased efficiencies
that can be experienced by the automotive industry. Traffic-management systems
can provide more accurate instructions to avoid traffic jams and accidents
based on real-time data collected from connected cars. Automotive parts
manufacturers can benefit from data revealing wear and tear, prompting them to pre-order
replacement parts and notify drivers before equipment failures occur.
Car-sharing apps can use real-time location information to encourage car pools.
There are even proposals for insurance systems that would adjust their rates
based on vehicles' geolocation and driving behavior.
The Internet of Things can streamline manufacturing
processes as well. After all of the sensors and information-sharing systems are
in place, businesses can generate a significantreturn on investmentto make a profit from the IoT.
Johnson is Senior Vice President of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. He
is is the author of the award-winning blog Integrate My JDE and
contributor to the Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations
(Osborne-McGraw Hill). He has presented at Collaborate, Interop, COMMON,
CIO Logistics Forum and dozens of other user groups and conferences. His
interviews on software industry issues have been aired on the NBC Today Show,
E! News, Discovery and more.