Dr. Richard Soley
Executive Director, Industrial Internet ConsortiumDr. Richard Soley
Many companies find they are falling behind the business curve because of shifting customer and market requirements, process disruptions and downtime, or having to manage and analyze industrial data, and justify costs with constrained budgets. In circumstances such as these, it can be difficult to attain ROI and service profitability.
Many companies are also falling behind the technology curve due to the explosive growth of connected data types, overwhelming data analytics, and persistent security and trustworthiness concerns.
Leading the way
IoT is part of a new set of technologies that includes artificial intelligence, edge, 5G, cybersecurity, digital twin, distributed ledger, and many others. These technologies are being woven into the fabric of enterprise solutions, helping to transform businesses.
Digital transformation builds on digitalization to create new business concepts, and devise new business applications and models. Together they are adding to the operational efficiency of businesses, increasing productivity, helping to create new business models and new revenue streams, reducing costs, increasing process efficiency and sustainability, and more.
One example is that of an automobile insurance company that incorporated driver safety IoT components into its solutions to help make it more competitive in the market.
Another business transformation example based on an Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) testbed is called Precision Crop Management. It was designed to use IoT solutions to improve crop productivity (yield) through early abnormality detection and corrective actions capability.
The testbed explores the ability of IoT technology to improve crop management through increased production (yield), lower operational costs, plus smarter applications of chemicals and fertilizers. The testbed focuses on improving crop yield through the analysis of real-time data from a variety of environmental sensors and other sources located in commercial crop fields, or throughout the enterprise.
It integrates aerial imagery and multiple sensor technologies to provide a 360-degree view of the plant environment. During a routine field inspection exercise, aerial images reveal areas of reduced vegetative health or crop stress.
The subsequent analysis of plant data from the corresponding ground-based sensors allows the fluctuations in plant health to be traced back to changes in external stimuli, thereby establishing the critical connection between cause and effect.
Climate change and a yearly reduction of available arable land have placed heavy demands on the global food supply. As such, the agricultural sector is forced to develop better ways of increasing crop yields and reducing costs.
The IIC Precision Crop Management Testbed is working to transform agricultural businesses through the use of IoT solutions. Maybe the testbed also has a shot at impacting world hunger.