One of the biggest business trends in recent years is implementing Internet of Things (IoT) systems in settings like warehouses, production and manufacturing facilities. Internet of Things has been a huge game changer for businesses after implementation, allowing them to gain deeper insights into their operations and automate processes. Ultimately, these businesses are able to gain serious competitive advantages by increasing efficiency and reducing costs in a variety of ways.
But reaping the benefits of an Internet of Things system isn’t something that happens overnight. To really capture the value of Internet of Things, a business also needs to implement an artificial intelligence program that can analyze the data generated by Internet of Things. Let’s take a closer look at how these two technological innovations work together to supercharge businesses.
What is the Internet of Things?
When we talk about Internet of Things, we’re really talking about a group of sensors strategically deployed in an environment to capture and digitize data that may have been inaccessible previously. Sensors can capture a wide variety of data, including temperature, velocity, and location; essentially anything in an environment can be monitored and turned into digital data. In a warehouse setting, for example, an Internet of Things system might track products through the picking and packing process in order to monitor in real-time stock levels. In a manufacturing setting, an Internet of Things system might monitor the temperature of a specific set of chemicals, or the speed at which a production machine operates. Even in farming, Internet of Things sensors can monitor weather patterns, temperature, barometric pressure, soil quality and more.
What do business do with that data?
As you might imagine, sensors deployed across a large scale operation will generate a significant amount of data. In fact, experts predict that there will be more than 30 billion connected devices globally by 2020, generating 5 quintillion bytes of data every day. That’s a lot of data. In order to make sense of it all, businesses need to turn to artificial intelligence to make that data meaningful and useful.
AI can be used in a variety of ways to improve processes. First, it can be used to monitor processes and provide real-time reporting, essentially providing both a real-time analytics dashboard for management as well as monitoring for errors that can lead to production stoppages. Second, AI can also be used to fuel a new service category called Predictive Maintenance, where the AI predicts when a machine will need maintenance. AIs can be used to predict – and automate – a variety tasks, such as managing inventory and the supply chain. Third, AI can be used to develop automation, such as when a stock level of a particular product raw material reaches a certain level a replenishment order is automatically placed with the supplier (with the appropriate management notifications and approvals, of course).
Making Internet of Things and AI work for you
One of the cool things about deploying Internet of Things and AI systems is that they can be deployed fairly quickly and are fully testable. That means that a business might choose to deploy a system in part of its operations in order to evaluate its usefulness. That said, an effective deployment requires a touch of strategy and business savvy. If you’re interested in exploring how Internet of Things and AI can benefit your business, contact us. All.in Data can evaluate your operations and create a strategy for developing, deploying, testing, and improving Internet of Things and AI systems so that your business can gain a competitive advantage.