What's Hot in IoT
Integrators have to focus their company’s time and resources. Sorting through all the new products, solutions, and strategies for the Internet of Things can make that task somewhat exhausting.
Indeed, according to a July 2017 report from IoT Analytics, the number of platform providers in the IoT space is growing at a 50 percent annual clip. There are also hundreds of companies flooding the market with an array of products.
32 percent of IoT platforms revolve around industrial use cases.
How can a technology pro sort through the complexities of the IoT marketplace and find viable opportunities? A starting point is to recognize that 32 percent of IoT platforms revolve around industrial use cases (says IoT Analytics). While consumer IoT grabs headlines, the industrial IoT represents an enormous opportunity for integrators.
The IoT Analytics study found that the leading areas of business IoT spending include manufacturing and industrial (32 percent), smart cities (22 percent), energy (21 percent), mobility (20 percent), supply chain (16 percent), and retail (14 percent). A separate report by the same researcher on the number of projects launched found that leading areas include connected industry, smart cities, and smart energy.
Making Connections Count
One area of particular interest that spans all these fields is predictive maintenance, also referred to as preventative asset maintenance (PAM). The space is poised to grow at a 39 percent annual rate, IoT Analytics reports, from $2.2 billion in 2017 to $10.9 billion by 2022. Efficiency gains ranging from 25 percent to 30 percent are reported by organizations adopting these solutions.
Predictive maintenance and PAM encompass five core areas: condition monitoring hardware, industrial automation hardware, connectivity systems, storage technology, and analytics tools. These systems can touch everything from industrial machinery and vehicles to HVACs and utility grids. Industries already using these systems include airlines, utilities, and oil and gas.
IBM, SAP, Siemens, Microsoft, and GE, as well as smaller firms such as C3 IoT, Uptake, and SpaceTime Insight, are major players in the predictive maintenance space. Used effectively, their systems lessen expensive equipment failures, reduce or eliminate costly downtime, deliver insights into how to operate a business and machinery more efficiently, and introduce new product and service opportunities.
“They offer a deeper and broader view of the business,” says Scott Schlesinger, global head of the AI and analytics advisory practice at Cognizant Digital Business.
Entering the predictive maintenance market begins with understanding what products and solutions are available and how to assemble them for maximum results. Predictive maintenance systems aren’t a plug-and-play proposition. They can require connections across the five core areas previously mentioned, which can ripple into mobility, the cloud, and beyond. All the more reason, though, to regard them as a rich potential source of IoT revenue.
Samuel Greengard is a business and technology writer based in West Linn, Ore. He is the author of The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).