As a business leader, you need to keep on top of technological developments and make informed decisions about how to grow your company. New Zealand business is praised across the world for our ability to pivot and embrace new ways of thinking and market demands.
Despite this, New Zealand business has been slow to adjust to the Internet of Things (IoT). In fact, many business owners assume IoT has nothing to offer them. “We’re not a technology company,” I hear time and time again. “We don’t need to know.”
The very purpose of IoT is to bring digital technology into the real world to build real economic value. While business-to-consumer applications such as self-driving cars and smart homes receive the most media interest, it’s in the business-to-business space where IoT shines.
With the hype around IoT reaching a crescendo, you could be forgiven for keeping your head down and hoping your business won’t have to change. But if you want to maintain your competitive advantage, cut costs and improve accuracy, boost productivity, or build a world-class product and service delivery, then you need to consider what IoT can offer you.
What exactly is IoT?
Wired explains that the Internet of Things is used to describe objects that ‘talk’ to each other via the internet. By combining these devices (whether they’re toasters, street signs, fitness trackers, or security gates) with automated systems, IoT can collect data, create actions, learn from processes, or help with a particular task.
In consumer products, you end up with smart mirrors that tell you the weather while you are getting ready to go out, and smart coffee machines that can have your favourite brew ready before you even get to the kitchen. It may sound like the set of Star Trek, but in the business world IoT has many measurable and tangible benefits.
Over 35% of all US factories use sensors on manufacturing equipment to cut down on waste and increase efficiency – including Harley Davidson, whose IoT assisted manufacturing has resulted in a higher quality product and cost savings throughout the product life cycle. Amazon now uses robots in their fulfillment centres, cutting operating expenses by 20% and saving the company $22 million a year. IBM reports on emerging IoT trends for business, including ‘Digital Twins’ (digital doppelgangers of real-world devices), blockchain, and cognitive computing. The Internet of Things is already here and it’s already changing how we all do business.
IoT and New Zealand business
You may think it’s all well and good for Amazon and big global companies, but IoT won’t matter in the small New Zealand economy. Not true. We’re already helping hundreds of New Zealand companies embrace IoT.
For example, councils and engineering companies use remote-operated solar-powered signage and traffic signals to direct traffic and monitor speed. These signs can be monitored for battery life and an alert sent if they’re not functioning. They also collect data about road usage that can inform decisions.
Recently, one of our clients had our IoT platform installed on a variety of security gates. The data alerted him to a faulty gate – a fact that would have gone unnoticed for months if the technology hadn’t been there. From the data gathered he could see exactly what was causing the fault and how it was impacting the gate system. This data now helps technician with delivering quality repair. Technicians now don’t have to spend any time diagnosing the fault, saving the client avoidable call-out fees.
“With idealgap IoT platform, we can now see in real time how our assets are performing or have a fault – this gives us the ability to be proactive in our maintenance and repairs rather than waiting for our customers to alert us…”
Idealgap IoT technology extends well beyond security gates and signage. Your business could benefit from improvements in asset utilisation, inventory tracking, monitoring energy usage, device and network performance, capacity planning and utilisation, demand forecasting, pricing optimisation, service delivery, system downtime, false repair detection, and productivity.
Barriers to entry into IoT
Even if you can see the potential benefits of IoT within your company, you may be concerned about disrupting your current systems, implementation costs, or issues of compliance, monitoring, maintenance, and security.
We realised that for the customers we deal with – councils, construction companies, instrumentation and monitoring companies – the biggest concern once they understood the benefits of the technology was the infrastructure investment. With good reason – overhauling current systems and technology costs money and consumes hundreds of hours of valuable time.
Idealgap is set out to solve that problem by creating IoT hardware that can be retrofitted onto your current systems. This not only saves you money, it means you’re not using valuable time rebuilding your systems from the ground up or training staff in an entirely new process. Instead, you can start gathering insights and reaping the benefits immediately, ensuring a shorter time frame to a positive ROI.
Data obtained from your Assets is fed in real time through to our IoT platform, where we ensure it’s compliant and secure. We then deliver data back to you in a format that’s easy to interpret so you can gain insights that empower you to make informed business decisions.
The Internet of Things is coming to New Zealand business, whether you’re ready for it or not. With idealgap you can fast-track the process of connecting to the future.