Two examples of the Internet of Things influencing the enterprise

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The Internet of Things (IoT) in the enterprise space is at times a fairly blank canvas where solutions can be worked on and new applications delivered. We have had clients that are multi-billion dollar enterprises find themselves behind the eight ball when it comes to delivering an answer to some of the challenges put before them by the clients and tenders. However, what has started to become more apparent is the way in which we can find a solution to some of these difficult challenges using an IoT and connectivity strategy.

As the digital economy drives complex enterprise architectures, IT and the IoT have embraced this complexity by aiming to simplify the standards. The digital enterprise facilitates transactions derived from end devices to private cloud to enterprise systems behind secure firewalls.

These interactions can originate from smart businesses, smart vehicles or wearable devices, and access data from an enterprise system on premises. The enterprise’s boundaries are now more extensible and permeable than ever, which makes security, governance, connectivity and management critical topics in the “Enterprise of Things” conversation.

Many enterprises rely on the elevation of industries from the government in order to see these industries grow within their ecosystem. Most of the developed economies, such as US and China have accepted the immediate need to develop the IoT ecosystems. Therefore we have started to see a set of policies for developing and implementing these new technologies being formed.

Overall, the IoT is considered as the next wave of the global information industry, following the waves of the computer, internet, and mobile. According to reports, the American government has invested over $787 billion into ICT development, mainly focussing in energy, medical treatment and improving connectivity across the board. The government in China has also realised the huge potential of promoting IoT as a means of strategic development of its enterprise sector. There are a few real-world applications within the enterprise space that are truly shaping things for the future.

Governments can identify how their cities “feel” by monitoring the environment through the use of sensors and bicycles. The application is being run within a major UK city, where we have over 4000 bicycles gathering information ranging from GPS through to carbon monoxide.

The key deliverables within the application were to show a reduction in carbon emissions, with 17,000 kilograms of carbon offset per week assuming bike rides replace the equivalent car journey; understanding environmental points, giving the council a bird’s eye view of their most polluted areas and a better idea of where to more efficiently plant trees; improved traffic congestion and public health, with the aim of cycling comprising 5% of all journeys by 2023; and engagement of the community.

All this information is shown on an interactive map that shows how these metrics are derived, delivered and constructed all in real time. It has certainly exceeded the council’s expectation as there are many more new ways in which to demonstrate returns.

Another example within agriculture benefits from an application that uses the soil moisture and PH level of crops to negotiate the type of water a crop should be irrigated with. Sensors in the field and specifically the soil of various crops, communicate with the irrigation systems, informing them of the level of pH and moisture within the soil of the crop that is about to receive water.

The Irrigation system can adjust the level of pH in the water in real time as it’s about to water that specific crop. So, for example, if the crop is a tomato and the water needs to be slightly more acidic, then the irrigation system can do this real time. The result is a demonstrable increase in the crop survival rate. All this is driven by the fact that we can give a “voice” to the crops and the soil surrounding it.

It’s clear that there are ways to enhance what enterprises will be doing across the industries such as energy, manufacturing, health and many more to drive new revenues and improve efficiencies. I think the real value comes when this is done at the same time. There is true value and immense potential for enterprises when they use applications that can drive an increase in revenue as well as drive a decrease in cost. It’s very clear that IoT applications are able to successfully start doing that and represent a growing market for the enterprise world.

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