There’s a lot of buzz surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) - a world in which everything is smart and connected.
It’s all about making data come together in new ways, and it has the potential to change all aspects of our lives.
The IoT is fueling a programmable economy in which our homes, cities, factories and power plants will be interconnected and managed through the internet. In this data-driven world, smart devices will communicate with each other and coordinate actions on a common platform.
The payoff is huge, experts say, including increased efficiency, lower energy consumption, less traffic congestion, and better healthcare.
For manufacturing and supply chains, the IoT has set in motion a fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as the Industrial IoT, or Industry 4.0. Powered by the internet, the IoT will make factories smarter, more efficient and productive.
The IoT promises to significantly improve visibility on the factory floor, reduce downtime and improve the bottom line for industries such as healthcare, automotive, oil and gas and aerospace.
The IoT also promises to provide significant benefits to the defense industry.
By leveraging this interconnected architecture, military forces can increase efficiencies, reduce costs and enhance situational awareness across the full spectrum of defense logistics management.
The IoT is about creating an efficient environment where data is captured and turned into actionable insights.
It involves the collection and analysis of “Big Data” - massive volumes of data pulled from multiple sensor sources that deliver powerful analytics.
Big Data is generated from “smart” sensors embedded in physical objects that communicate through networks.The data is consolidated and managed through sensor fusion. This intelligent connection of large volumes of data will facilitate data-driven, highly efficient manufacturing and supply chain processes.
The Internet of Things is estimated to be a $19 trillion market over the next few years, and technology suppliers are all vying to get their piece of the IoT market. As a result, there’s been a proliferation of stove-piped IoT technologies that have posed significant interoperability challenges for industries.
Organizations are faced with a plethora of asset tracking solutions that do not speak the same language. There is a lack of integration among technologies such as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), barcodes, transponders and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Many IoT solutions are proprietary technologies that are not interoperable with other brands, data formats or legacy systems.
The end result is inefficient operations with increased costs due to:
- Loss of asset visibility and accountability
- Unreliable inventory data
- Suboptimal supply chains
- Suboptimal operations