Due to ever-emerging IoT trends and technologies, Gartner Research predicted that 14.2 billion connected things would be in use in 2019 and would reach 25 billion by 2021.[ 1] To keep up with these changes, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), equipment owners, and operators are harnessing the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced data analytics to transform their business operations. Here are five ways connected equipment is changing how businesses work:
- Optimized operations. Connected equipment is simply more efficient and productive than its unconnected siblings. With accessible equipment data, real-time asset health monitoring, value-added analytics, and predictive action planning, businesses can reduce internal costs tied to warranty claims, manufacturing, product development, and product enhancements. Even spare part inventory costs can be optimized. Additionally, with feedback from advanced data analysis on equipment operating in the field, product design and functionality can actually be improved. And, thanks to enhanced product differentiation, total operating costs can be lowered and top-line sales revenue increased. Finally, with connected equipment, data can be captured and maintenance needs predicted—even before a problem occurs. That means increased uptime and enhanced customer experiences, which can prove invaluable to a business’ bottom line. But, benefits to the customer don’t end there.
- Enhanced customer experience. Ground-breaking product and service offerings can be created as equipment and data are connected, enhancing the customer experience and providing opportunities for even more innovation and deeper interaction with the user base. With the ability to predict when something is about to go wrong, a connected product can take action to resolve an issue before trouble arises. For example, IoT devices connected to utilities (say gas, power, or even cable service) could alert the utility’s service desk software of a potential service issue and start the remediation process before the customer even notices a problem.[ 2] Another scenario includes Rolls-Royce using the IoT in their engines to improvise maintenance operations, finding out the engine performance and then passing on the relevant information to their customers. This saves their customers valuable time and money while strengthening their relationship. [ 3] These are the types of game-changing innovations that can significantly elevate customer experience.
- Better risk management. Data-driven insights allow OEMs, equipment owners and operators to deal with issues quickly—often before they have an opportunity to take place—thereby reducing unplanned downtime and preventing spend on avoidable issues. In addition, some connected equipment software can identify compliance issues, ensuring that equipment has been inspected, strengthening personnel safety and operational efficiency, and decreasing operating expenses. The future looks even brighter. As technological advances continue to make assets safer, smarter and more reliable, digitization and the IoT are providing the potential for business growth and business efficiency with even less risk.
- New revenue streams. Connected equipment analysis is driving the creation of new digital products and services that offer competitive sales differentiation. In addition, customers who realize the technology landscape is constantly changing may want to stay abreast of the latest trends through a data subscription service. Such a service—another revenue stream for the provider—offers access to enhanced equipment diagnostics or perhaps a usage-based pricing model.
- Increased business competitiveness. OEMs, equipment owners and operators ignore—at their own peril—the potential for growth, greater efficiency, and better productivity that connected equipment can provide. Businesses that do not recognize the need to channel the IoT will soon be left behind as their tech-savvy connected competitors gain the ability to react to data-driven insights. In addition, they lose the efficiency gains that connected equipment provides the customer, and themselves.
Advanced analytics can provide insights into future problems by studying past issues. They can lead to innovations and improved functionality, often lowering maintenance costs and extending asset life. The insights gained from connected equipment can make the difference in a competitive marketplace.
With the IoT, the future is here. OEMs, equipment owners, and operators must be a part of this important transformation or be overtaken by their more farsighted competitors. Customers expect the greater efficiencies and productivity that connected equipment can provide and are reaping the benefits as their business operations are transformed.
Learn what defines a connected equipment strategy and how creating the right approach for your organization will ensure a successful implementation.
- Brian T. Horowitz, “8 IoT Trends to Watch in 2019,” PC Mag, Jan. 21, 2019.1.
- Gartner, “Gartner Identifies Top 10 Strategic IoT Technologies and Trends,” Gartner Press Release, Nov. 07, 2018.
- Shane Barker, “How the Internet of Things is Transforming Customer Experience,” LiveChat Blog, Nov. 20, 2018.