IoT will fail unless you think through your whole business system

Internet of Things (IoT) devices have been growing like topsy in recent years. They offer remarkable benefits for businesses looking to improve the reliability, efficiency and environmental performance of their operations.

They are also cheap compared to conventional instrumentation (where cabling can be the bulk of the capital cost). It can be tempting to sprinkle devices throughout your facility without much thought.

Without a strategy and plan to handle the new data streams from these devices, they will end up being an expensive experiment.

You will need to consider these points:

  • What data will be genuinely useful, not just nice to know?
  • What data pipeline will you need to handle and store your new data streams. Is it compatible with your existing systems?
  • Data volumes will not be manageable with conventional spreadsheet ad-hoc analysis. Develop automated analytics (including machine learning systems) to take full advantage of your IoT data.

I’m hearing powerful stories of enhanced plant reliability through a combination of IoT vibration monitoring and machine learning. I’m hearing others of identifying poorly performing equipment by measuring temperatures that were never monitored before.

There’s a lot to be gained from IoT - just do it properly.

About David T Kearns

I'm an independent professional working in energy, carbon, sustainability and machine learning