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The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): Are Companies Ready For It?

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The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): Are Companies Ready For It?

Are Companies Ready For the Industrial Internet of Things?

We’ve all heard about how the consumer version of the internet of things (IoT) will impact our lives. Smart devices in our homes, cars, and cities are already beginning to send and receive data to each other, allowing for unprecedented integration with consumer technologies.

But the implications of this revolution of connectivity extend way behind just smartphones and your home. In fact, it’s about to be applied on an industrial scale to everything from aerospace to mining in ways that people can hardly imagine.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will pull data from millions of tiny sensors on every piece of industrial equipment fathomable. Companies will harness this data in real-time to create insights and efficiencies on a crazy scale: GE estimates it will help to generate a $10-$15 trillion increase in global GDP over the next 20 years.

But can companies handle the IIoT?

While this all sounds great in theory, the reality is that the transition to a useful IIoT is going to be an ongoing challenge. Very different types of data need to be captured and integrated, and companies will need to find ways to turn huge amounts of data into focused insights.

Bit Stew, from GE Digital, recently commissioned a survey of top IT execs to see if their respective companies were ready for the IIoT.

The survey found that only 30% of companies are currently early adopters of the IIoT, while the other 70% are still in the planning phase. Perhaps more importantly, top IT execs identified the potential barriers to their companies adopting the IIoT, as well as the opportunities that the IIoT can unlock for their operations:

Opportunities

  • 80% of senior IT executives view improving operating efficiency and uptime as the top benefits that IIoT will bring.
  • Other benefits identified: improved operating costs, better uptime, improved asset performance management, and knowledge transfer in the workplace.
  • Larger organizations (1,000+ employees) found improving uptime to be a more compelling benefit than smaller organizations.
  • 70% say that having proven capabilities for data modeling and mapping were more important for a IIoT platform than any other feature.

Barriers to Adoption

  • 64% of senior IT executives said that integrating data from disparate sources and formats, and extracting business value from that data, is the biggest challenge the IIoT presents.
  • Meanwhile, 36% say limited access to the right skills and expertise is the problem.
  • Larger organizations (1,000+ employees) were more likely to struggle with traditional database management and analytics tools (34% vs 12%).
  • 87% say that the overwhelming volume and veracity of data will result in losing valuable business insights.
  • 33% say that businesses without a data management strategy will become marginalized, obsolete, or disappear.

Why is industrial data so complicated?

Industrial data comes from a variety of source types and is often messy. Combine this with its complexity, and that it comes in massive volumes and varied frequencies, and the situation is quite a quagmire for any aspiring adopter.

To enter a truly connected world where data about everything is analyzed instantaneously on an industrial scale, we must first solve these issues around data. It’s only then that the IIoT will show its true potential for business.

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Chart of the Week

The 10 Breakthrough Technologies That Will Define 2019

Which innovations will dominate headlines in 2019? According to Bill Gates, watch for these 10 breakthrough technologies to change the world.

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The 10 Breakthrough Technologies That Will Define 2019

Gone are the days of turning stones into spears. With the advent of new technologies, we’ve learned to develop tools that not only make living faster and easier every day, but also improve the future of humanity as a whole.

Today’s Chart of the Week draws from the MIT Technology Review, which features Bill Gates’ predictions for the top 10 breakthrough inventions that will capture headlines in 2019.

Top 10 Breakthrough Technologies

1. Gut Probe in a Pill
These swallowable devices can detect and potentially prevent diseases that cause malnutrition and stunted growth in millions of children worldwide.

2. Custom Cancer Vaccines
Personalized cancer vaccines, targeting only the cancerous cells and leave healthy cells alone, could help ensure faster recovery times and pose fewer risks to patients.

3. Meat-free Burgers
Plant-based and lab-grown food products will ideally alleviate the environmental impact of the livestock industry.

4. Smooth-talking AI assistants
The AI assistants of the future will have even more human-like conversations to personally engage customers. Companies would see measurable benefits, with just one breakthrough here garnering a 5% jump in productivity.

5. Sanitation without sewers
Improperly drained sewage causes death in one out of every nine children. Sanitation that doesn’t require sewers would not only prevent exposure diseases but also help turn waste into useful products like fertilizer.

6. ECG on your wrist
While most medical ECGS have up to 12 nodes to detect abnormalities, today’s wearables typically have only one. An ECG on the wrist would help reduce the risk of heart disease by monitoring changes and patterns in daily life.

7. Robot Dexterity
Advancements in robotics will enable the natural dexterity required to complete a greater range of tasks, such as helping an ailing loved one out of bed, doing the laundry, or building toys.

8. Predicting Preemies
Premature births are the leading cause of death for children under five years old. Tests to detect the possibility of a premature birth could be available in doctors’ offices in as little as five years.

9. Carbon Dioxide Catcher
Carbon dioxide catchers filter out CO₂ from the air and capture it for other uses. These include synthetic fuel creation, CO₂ for soft drinks, and plant growth in greenhouses.

10. New-wave Nuclear Power
Traditional nuclear reactors produce ~1,000 megawatts (MW), while these proposed mini-reactors would produce tens of megawatts ─ making them safer, more stable, and more financially viable for potential users.

A Vision for a Better Future

The biggest takeaway?

Seven of the 10 breakthrough technologies stem from the healthtech sector.

While several inventions on this list are years away from becoming a reality, they continue to embody the vision and passion that humans share to create and explore.

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Visualizing the Importance of Trust to the Banking Industry

In the digital age, the issue of trust is emerging as the game-changing factor in how consumers choose financial services brands.

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Visualizing the Importance of Trust to the Banking Industry

In the digital age, money is becoming less tangible.

Not only is carrying physical cash more of a rarity, but we are now able to even make contactless payments for many of the products and services we use on the fly.

Our financial transactions are starting to be analyzed and optimized by artificial intelligence. Meanwhile, investments and bills are paid online, and even checks can now be deposited through our phones. Who has the time to visit a physical bank these days, anyways?

Trust in the Digital Age

The migration of financial services to the cloud is increasing access to banking solutions, while breaking down barriers of entry to the industry. It’s also creating opportunities for new service offerings that can leverage technology, data, and scale.

However, as today’s infographic from Raconteur shows, this digital migration has a crucial side effect: trust in financial services has emerged as a dominant driver of consumer activity.

This likely boils down to a couple major factors:

  • Tangibility
    Financial services are becoming less grounded in physical experiences (using cash, visiting a branch, personal relationships, etc.)
  • Personal Data
    Consumers are rightfully concerned about how personal data gets treated in the digital age

Further, the above factors are compounded by memories of the 2008 Financial Crisis. These events not only damaged institutional reputations, but they elevated trust to become a key concern and selling point for consumers.

Trust, by the Numbers

In general, trust in banks has been slowly on the rise since hitting a low point in 2011 and 2012.

At the same time, consumers are consistently ranking trust as a more important factor in their decision of where to bank. To the modern consumer, trust even outweighs price.

Top Five Factors for Choosing a Bank:

  1. Ease and convenience of service (47%)
  2. Trust with the brand (45%)
  3. Price/rate (43%)
  4. Service resolution quality and timeliness (43%)
  5. Wide network coverage of ATMs (40%)

It’s important to recognize here that all five of the above factors rank quite closely in percentage terms. That said, while they are all crucial elements to a service offering, trust may be the most abstract one to try and tackle for companies in the space.

With this in mind, how can financial services leverage tech to increase the amount of trust that consumers have in them?

Tech Factors That Would Increase Consumer Trust:

  1. Reliable fraud protection (36%)
  2. Technology solves my problems (13%)
  3. Useful mobile application (9%)

Better fraud protection capability stands out as one major trust-builder, while designing technology that is useful and effective is another key area to consider.

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