Is the Internet of Things (IoT) right for my business?
The answer is probably YES, and there this blog could end. But the question should be asked differently, is there anything we could measure or control that would improve the product, production, service, quality or your customers' experience? The only limit is your imagination.
Today, there is a plethora of different types of sensors that can measure almost anything, and usually at a very low cost. There are sensors that can be cast in, drilled into, taped up or with a magnetic mount, some with a built-in 10-year battery. Then there are "cameras" that can count people, track movement patterns and so on, though these cost a bit more.
The key to a successful IoT project is to think about what we want to change and improve, and then see if it's possible to measure and analyse it in a practical way. Since much IoT technology is not only cheap but also readily available, it doesn't have to cost that much to try. Here we also have to make a choice, choose a solution that is easy to test to see if the hypothesis is correct. If we then decide to do it on a larger scale, we have to make a little more effort to get a more practical solution with a lower unit cost that can be scaled up in numbers.
Depending on the type of solution we need, the sensor may be connected directly to a small computer, such as a Raspberry Pi, or it may communicate wirelessly with a gateway that then connects to the Internet or some other IP network.
Somewhere centrally, all IoT devices are managed and store the data collected. Here, public cloud services are very attractive, but sometimes we can't, or aren't allowed to, store data in public clouds, in which case we need to be able to use our own data centres.
Improving the customer experience
The benefits come only when we can either analyse the information and present new insights about what we are measuring, or integrate the information into existing systems. That is, an IoT project goes from the sensors and devices themselves, through communications, to databases and the application layer, either purpose-built or integrated with existing systems.
Usually we want to use some form of AI or machine learning to derive a decision model from the information collected. The finished model can then be run at the far end of the individual IoT device to make decisions about actions locally without relying on communication to a central location.
Take the first step
So back to the question, is there anything we could measure or control that could improve the product, production, service, quality or your customers' experience?
If you would like help with inspiration or to hear more about the possibilities, please do not hesitate to contact us at AddPro. We at AddPro want to be part of your IoT journey and together create value and competitiveness for your business and customers.