The Internet of Things (IoT) brings amazing opportunities for enterprises to connect devices, streamline operations, open new revenue streams, and better satisfy customer demands. But many are still frustrated by their early IoT attempts and fail to get the results promised. Why? Because often, business objectives have not been carefully thought through.
For equipment makers, the value of IoT is clear-cut. IoT highlights how products are being used, makes predictive maintenance possible to reduce costs and unexpected downtime, and creates predictable, renewable as-a-service revenue streams. But getting it right isn’t as simple as it sounds.
IoT technologies and applications are evolving at a phenomenal rate, with IoT spending continuing its stellar upward curve. Analyst firm IDC expects IoT spending in Europe to hit $208 billion by year-end and continue a double-digit growth path to the end of 20261. However, without a robust and well-thought-out business case, enterprises can hemorrhage time and money on IoT projects that go nowhere.
Feeling the pressure
Much frustration stems from equipment makers feeling pressured to turn around IoT products and profits quickly, seeing them jump off the deep end without clear business cases or a roadmap on how to scale up the projects and keep moving forward on schedule. So significant is the issue that in a survey, 58% of businesses said that their IoT projects had been unsuccessful. Only 12% classified their IoT projects as entirely successful2.
Lack of understanding around errors and equipment operational efficiencies, lack of visibility into recurring equipment failures, and inability to predict failures end up stalling projects. Not to mention hiring teams of developers to sort out technically challenging issues which are costly, slow down deployments, and the possibility of realizing value quickly.
Less haste and more speed are the way forward. Those that rush also open the attack surface to malevolent actors. Unprotected firmware, for example, puts devices at greater risk. According to a recent report, an alarming 47% of attacks on manufacturing were caused due to vulnerabilities that victim organizations had not yet or could not patch, spotlighting the need for organizations to prioritize vulnerability management3. Gartner says that 70% of companies that do not have a firmware upgrade plan in place will be breached this year4.
Innovate and differentiate using IoT remote monitoring insight
Having the capability to harvest the data is one thing. Still, if you don’t understand the condition of your assets and processes and how customers use their devices, developing and providing value add continuously will be impossible. Without this insight, enterprises find their IoT projects stalling while the enlightened competition adds features faster.
IoT remote monitoring is as it says on the box. The process uses IoT-connected devices to get live insights into equipment usage and performance, which you are not physically close to. These could range from fuel monitoring for logistics and shipping companies to smart building technologies to reduce energy or industrial and manufacturing solutions to improve productivity. The use cases are endless.
Building IoT devices and services not only requires a mature technology stack, but it also needs a robust customer-oriented business model. The data insights gained from remote IoT monitoring are priceless to device makers in speeding up the development of new products and features that customers want and need. When machines talk, they provide new insights into the behavior of your customers so you can strengthen your relationships.
As well as a deep dive into product usage, this data also reveals where there may be any device weaknesses and why and verify if it can be optimized for the task at hand while improving the customer experience. The same or higher reliability scenarios can also be scoped out for future releases based on using lower-cost components, for example, or how functions can be speeded up without impacting output quality. Enterprises that utilized Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform, for example, saw a staggering 125% increase in incremental revenues from advanced IoT analytics solutions, according to research by Forrester Research. In addition, they saw a 66% increase in attach rates to add-ons to customer orders and a 35% reduction in unplanned maintenance, thanks to predictive maintenance capabilities.
It isn’t all about adding features, either. Remote monitoring enables new features to be deprioritized quickly. This allows them to be rapidly replaced with unique features that add value and support features valued by the customer. In addition, new options for service programs can be made available to add supplementary services and boost revenues at increased margins.
Delivering added value and enhanced performance to customers
Kemin Industries, which provides an array of products to address global health and nutrition needs, was looking to deliver new value-added customer solutions and performance insights for its industrial application systems in the cloud. This would enable them to better connect with customers and rapidly address any issues, including troubleshooting.
Software AG and the Cumulocity IoT platform have enabled Kemin to run their liquid application systems in the cloud. As well as harvesting data from Kemin’s application systems to gain further insight into optimizing production processes and applications, customers can monitor how well liquids are pumping in industrial applications from wherever they are logging in.
In the area of sustainability, Greenflex, an environmental services company, had been experimenting with IoT for a while – but realized it needed a dynamic platform if it was going to get to market faster.
The company wanted a scalable, modular solution to connect to its wide range of existing environments and technologies that would enable it to be agile enough to pilot new approaches and expand into multiple global markets. The Cumulocity IoT platform has allowed Greenflex to add connections quickly across different devices and communication types. It has also enabled developer teams to implement devices and remote monitoring solutions faster, in line with customer demand.
Understanding customer needs is half the battle
For software engineering to be successful, companies must have access to their customers’ voices. It can be difficult, expensive, fruitless journey without understanding their needs.
In addition, a failure to follow a remote monitoring case strategy can leave the price as the only competitive option, which requires significant margin decreases to maintain revenue levels.
IoT remote monitoring may not instantly stand out as the point to kick off your IoT journey, but it will rapidly create a competitive edge. Identifying project value and speeding up return on investment while significantly improving the user experience long- and short-term. Why wait? Kickstart your IoT remote monitoring program now.