May 24, 2022
The term, the Internet of Things (IoT), has been around since 1999 when an MIT executive director coined it to help describe the potential of blending RFID technology with the Internet, among other things.
The term and the technology have come a long way since then, evolving into an array of sophisticated devices, techniques, and services all geared for capturing and making sense of as much data as digitally possible. In fact, as data generation has grown exponentially, IoT has advanced and proliferated right alongside in recent years. Standing at $478 billion today, the market is expected to mushroom to $2.4 trillion by 2029, according to Fortune Business Insights, with everything from smart cities to increasing adoption of blockchain propelling it forward, according to the firm.
As we look out to the horizon of this growth, the questions for organizations across industries should be simple: how should we embrace this technology, conceptually and literally, and where is it headed? At Hitachi Vantara, we’ve taken a pragmatic view of where this sophisticated technology can have the most meaningful impact today and into the future. The four areas, Asset Lifecycle, Energy and Sustainability, Industry 4.0, and Connected Spaces, or “Smart Spaces,” are distinct but easily integrated:
This area speaks to Asset “Lifecycle” Management and After Market Services, which includes mobility and smart/electrified transportation. When conducting lifecycle planning, the goal is to ensure high levels of asset availability and system reliability. In this space, IoT solutions that automate maintenance processes can help mitigate disruption while simultaneously improving productivity.
Energy and sustainability are areas that also leverage mobility and smart/electrified transportation. As renewable-energy sources proliferate, power grids become smarter, and industries electrify, a strong case is made for companies to adopt a sustainable approach to manage dramatically changing energy demands, minimize carbon emissions, and optimize resource performance. Done correctly and strategically, the adoption of IoT technologies and services can create jobs through new business models and reduce the carbon footprint from the energy value chain.
Industry 4.0, or the latest incarnation of the industrial revolution that gives rise to automation and data within manufacturing industries, is a key driver of IoT. Linking systems and process, the digitally-enabled factory captures benefits across the entire operational value chain—increasing production capacity and reducing material losses. It improves customer service and delivery lead times, while achieving higher employee satisfaction and reducing their environmental impact.
Connected spaces, sometimes called Smart Cities, add intelligence to existing urban systems, making it possible to do more with less. IoT enables more monitoring and management with less resources, from easing traffic congestion to responding to emergency. Through connected and interconnected applications, users are given real-time, transparent information to make better decisions faster. These tools can help save lives, prevent crime, reduce waste, and even boost social connectedness. When cities function more efficiently, they also become more productive places to do business.
There are many more use cases and areas of involvement in which IoT can and will play a role for the better. But in 2022, as this next major digital wave begins to crash over us, the areas carved out above will aid in everything from intelligent supply chain management to dramatically improved digital twins that offers far greater efficiencies and accuracy with far less risk. This week, Hitachi Vantara double-downed on our commitment to IoT with the launch of the Lumada Inspections Insights, a portfolio of tools designed to dramatically improve the energy and utility industry’s ability to monitor and maintain its critical infrastructure and keep the electricity flowing. IoT has come a long way since the ‘90’s. It’s time to engage.
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