Unlocking the true business value of IoT with cloud

  • Posted on January 25, 2016

IoTThe following blog post was written by Avanade alum Michael Zill.

Data gathered by the Internet of Things (IoT) is pointless without a connected ecosystem. Device data is not enough on its own; it needs to make sense in the context of the workplace in order to be tangible.

To realize true business value, you need to connect all the right pieces: technologies, data, processes, insight and people. The reason for all of this? It’s not worth knowing anything unless it is actionable.

Because of this, organizations need an enterprise-grade IoT platform. Cloud delivers this, bringing necessary agility, scalability, global reach and reliability to this platform.

With IoT, a huge amount of data can be gathered. The elastic scalability of cloud means it is the optimal way of harnessing this data. It can grow or shrink depending on how much data there is, meaning IT decision-makers don’t need to resource for the maximum amount. Instead they can increase the cloud’s capacity when required, saving on cost.

Cloud also provides the resources to be able to handle large computing requirements, including predictive analytics, which needs to come into play in order for the data to be relevant to the business; what we call predictive maintenance can be employed. This is important to the growing number of organizations that want to manage all data internally.

For example, a university wanted to optimize its lighting system to enhance safety, save on energy use and improve reliability.

Avanade’s solution was to amass data from electrical meters and use Azure Machine Learning to identify electrical signatures from a range of devices. By isolating devices and presenting the data through dashboards powered by Microsoft Power BI, the university has a better understanding of lighting levels.

The data is actionable because there’s context, and the university is able to manage its lighting, achieving core business goals such as cost-saving and operational autonomy.

This is just an example of a business utilizing IoT and cloud to improve day-to-day efficiency. But what about organizations actually basing their offerings on IoT? Every day we’re seeing businesses go from promoting products to offering services instead, and IoT is helping businesses to enhance these services.

For example, a tire company might no longer just sell tires; it’ll provide tires with sensors that will inform the business of tread degradation, meaning the business can alert customers when they need to renew their tires. The business has guaranteed future revenue, and the customer has a safer and more reliable vehicle. This creates true value for both sides – the ideal business scenario.

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