Benefits of IoT

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Part two of a three-part blog series on boosting the Internet of Things (IoT): Part one introduced the standard IoT concept. Part two details the benefits of combining big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and Blockchain with IoT to widen its breadth of application and potential.

IoT and quality data analytics

We established in part one of this series that IoT is a process enhancement system that converts information into actions via data analytics. So, it stands to reason that the first IoT boost is around enhancing the volume, veracity, variety and security of data and enhancing analytical capability and capacity to take advantage of it through insightful decision-making.

According to Forbes’ article, “Big Data: 20 Mind-Boggling Facts Everyone Must Read,” 90% of all data is unprocessed, with volumes set to grow to 1.7 megabytes for every second and for every human being on the planet by 2020. Therefore, successful big data management has to be more than just connecting new data—it must also be about processing.

The boosted IoT system

Boosted IoT

Big data, AI and IoT

Big data is the amalgamation of a wide variety of source data, for the purposes of defining trends arising from internal and external events. It refers to the depth and breadth of source data being mined and the inclusion of both structured and unstructured data.

Big data provides the nourishment for AI or ‘cognitive computing’ and the two work together to form a system that provides greater insight from patterns of data formerly unrecognized. How it Works, a YouTube video from IBM Watson, explains this in more detail.

Swapping fixed algorithms based on limited structured data with cognitive computing being fed by multiple data sources allows for a faster and more prescriptive analytical decision-making process. It informs of the most effective action to be performed in the IoT process.

One of many examples of this working in business today is IBM Watson working with Korean Air to shorten its maintenance defect history analysis lead times by 90%.

Blockchain and IoT

With all the data, information and decisions being passed through an IoT process, it is essential that the security and auditability of the data are robust, so as to prevent unwanted intrusion or lost reasoning between sub-processes. That is where Blockchain can boost IoT effectiveness further.

A blockchain is a fast, secure, decentralized ledger for sharing digital assets such as data, digital contracts and cryptocurrency. For more information on Blockchain, please refer to my earlier blog, “6 Business benefits of Blockchain.”

Blockchains form a secure and indelible link, enabling digital assets to pass between the three stages of IoT (assets, analysis, actions) and satisfying the security and traceability aspects. But added to this is the ability of the Blockchain to perform actions in its own right, such as the payment of a relevant party upon successful verification on an action in a smart contract.

One of the many examples of this working in business today is Maersk using a Blockchain to reduce insurance costs and enhancing the security and traceability of the documentation required for global shipping. This Fortune blog, “Maersk and Microsoft Tested a Blockchain for Shipping Insurance,” has a good explanation of this use case.

Take the benefits of IoT to the next level

A standard IoT system can provide huge benefits in enhancing the speed and accuracy of a process, but boosting the data, security, automation and analytical decision-making can take the benefits and use cases to the next level. In part three of this series, I will discuss the second IoT boost: enhancing efficiency.

I welcome comments on this or any other topic concerning finance, HCM, CSR & business strategy.

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Email: steve.treagust@ifsworld.com

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