There are a lot of cool things coming out of the Internet of Things movement – light bulbs that turn on and off automatically based on your location, thermostats that enter into an energy-saving mode when you leave, smartwatches, connected dishwashers, washers, driers, unmanned drones… the list goes on. At the surface, all of these things seem oriented to consumer needs, which begs the question – how can companies leverage the Internet of Things to increase profitability and remain competitive?
Drones are an excellent example of corporate innovation making use of the Internet of Things. Drones (also called unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs) seem at first glance to be made for hobbyists. Many modern models allow you to control them with your mobile device and see what it sees as it flies around. How could a hobby like flying drones be used by major corporations? Domino’s Pizza demonstrates exactly how – they have been investigating delivering pizza with drones.
So, what can we learn from Domino’s? We learn that designing to disrupt is at the core of maximizing the potential of the Internet of Things. Re-think the core of your organization. Designing to disrupt means re-thinking even the basics, like how Domino’s re-thought how to deliver their product.
Some of the most innovative companies that use the Internet of Things now are manufacturing companies. Various sensors and connected products scattered across a manufacturing floor, can have an enormous impact on efficiency and precision, which are vital to success in the manufacturing industry. Smart products can monitor machinery, replenish raw materials, and report or even rectify mechanical failures. All of these sensors can also report data back to a central database, where Big Data processing can be done and analytics be used to generate highly detailed reports and give immediate insight into where to increase efficiency and minimize defects.
The Internet of Things combined with Big Data has such high potential in the manufacturing industry that it is a primary driver of what experts are calling a modern industrial revolution, referred to as “Industry 4.0”. The German government for example is pushing IoT and industry 4.0 to make German manufacturing the most efficient in the world.
Manufacturing companies have got it right – the Internet of Things has huge potential. Finding that potential means putting an emphasis on innovation. Now is the time to invest.