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Benefits and risks of utilizing IoT devices

Benefits and risks of utilizing IoT devices
IoT has become an industry trend that many companies are starting to include in their operations. The advantage of using IoT device is plenty, but having a good understanding of the data being gathered and maintaining the device is essential in gaining the most out of IoT.
Graham Morphew, Senior Director of Product Management for Wind River, recently hosted a webinar addressing the benefits of implementing Internet of things (IoT) while avoiding the pitfalls some face when using IoT devices.

The introduction of IoT has many end users rushing to be part of the industry trend. Based on a research done by Gartner, the hype of IoT is reaching the peak of inflated expectations, meaning that there have been many success stories of the trend with some failures. Many companies are influenced by the hype of IoT, triggering a mass investment into the concept. Billions of dollars are placed into IoT with billions of IoT devices generating into trillions of dollars. However, with this hype it also causes a trough of disillusionment; end users who were drawn to the hype realized they are not receiving the benefits that was promised.

IoT is about connecting devices to the internet. The most essential part of IoT are the data being collected and how it is used to benefit the end users. The information obtained could boost operational optimization while reduce expenses or generate new revenue stream.

Optimization is an important aspect of implementing IoT devices. Being able to receive data that enables users to make beneficial decisions in an efficient way will greatly enhance the operations of a company.

Saving money
When it comes to saving money, IoT could enable the users to gather information from a field device that allows them to perform task such as predictive maintenance or field diagnostics. It would also reduce truck rolls by minimizing the need to send a person to a remote area. This could offer a cost-saving method while reducing the risks of entering dangerous locations.

A manufacturer may need to give its customers its equipment at a specific time. Very often companies will have service level agreements (SLA) with its customers and will be penalized if certain services were not met. By utilizing IoT, penalties could be avoided by performing preventative measures using IoT devices to ensure its products and services are available and functioning while eliminating the task for a person to be present at the location.

Making money
While saving money is key for many users, IoT also provide the ability to make money. Having a better understanding of the information a user is receiving from its IoT devices, they might be able to create new business models or drive new revenue stream by monetizing the value of the data that is being pulled from the IoT device. A company could upsell their products by understanding the usage and operating conditions from IoT devices. Transition from operational optimization to new types of business opportunity and revenue streams is a common path of integrating IoT.

Be aware of IoT implementation
The benefits of using IoT devices cannot be denied. While it may initially appear useful, many things should be considered before integrating IoT devices into the system.

Knowing the benefits of the data collected by the device is crucial. If the device cannot be changed based on the data, then IoT can be quite limiting. A device that seems bullet-proof could change once it has been placed in the field. The initial proof of concept may appear very well, but as the volume for the project expands so does the complexity and challenges that comes with it. The cost of upgrading software also needs to be considered as it may be required for the devices to adapt to the changes.

The hype for embracing IoT is strong and there is no doubt it has the possibility to strengthen the end users operation. However, the pitfalls of using IoT devices should be considered in order to avoid being in the trough of disillusionment. Understanding the data and having a plan for device management will help open up the potential of IoT.
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