Integrating the IoT helps manufacturers stay ahead of the curve by reducing operational costs, producing quality products, minimizing risks, optimizing processes, and ultimately creating enhanced customer experiences.
FREMONT, CA: The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) revolves around how it will positively impact everyday lives. From drone-delivery to turning lights on from the phone, smart, connected devices have evolved in recent years. One of the lucrative applications for IoT is in the manufacturing sector. The IoT initiated the industrial revolution, commonly called Industry 4.0, with the smart factory's evolution. Manufacturers use an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to create an intelligent, decision-making environment of connected devices and things with predictive, preventive, prescriptive, pre-emptive, proactive decision-making capabilities.
Manufacturers adopt the IoT to improve quality control, achieve operational efficiency, transform the customer experience, and many more. Manufacturers leveraging the IoT are seeing a return on their investment in the form of enhanced product quality, better operational efficiency and safety, better inventory tracking, and accurate demand forecasting. Some firms are also using technology as a differentiator to improve customer experience.
Although the value of digital innovation is evident, wide adoption has been slow. This is due to a myriad of hurdles. For many organizations, the biggest problem is available talent. Firms don't have the internal expertise to plan and execute digital innovation efforts. With the strain on IT budgets, organizations struggle to manage today's priorities and invest in the talent required to help them transform their business. However, a lack of IoT integration is not necessarily due to an unwillingness to invest. Organizations will pursue digital innovation, but several projects end up failing. This can happen when projects go over budget, implementation times run too long, interoperability issues occur across legacy platforms or planning, and resources are not allocated appropriately.
Although technology evolution may be complex to some, the quick churn of technology innovations also lowers costs as cutting-edge technology becomes commonplace. This is true for some robotics and analytics software, making the initial capital investments palatable. The manufacturer should also recognize when outside help is required. Finding a trusted partner who specializes in IoT solutions can help plan, deploy, and maintain with minimal disruption to daily operations. As with large initiatives, proper planning is vital. Firms need to take time to communicate with all facets of the business.
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