How many sweaters were sold last winter? Is the ongoing rainfall causing the river levels to rise to dangerous levels? When can customers expect purchases to arrive? What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a solution? How can we prolong the product lifecycle of expensive machinery?
Evidently, the questions are endless. But the point is, without access to data, there is simply no reliable answer. And without proper answers and a consistent stream of data, all decision-making becomes a dangerous guessing game.
This is exactly where IoT, or any smart solution, plays a vital role.
Data, Data, Data
One of the crucial uses of IoT is the excellent opportunities for data collection and uninterrupted flows of information.
Deployed across a wide range of devices, granular data can help business owners make real-time, informed decisions and respond quickly to emerging issues. This allows them to more value to customers and enhance their competitiveness in the market.
In fact, data is such a coveted resource that the total amount of data created, captured, and consumed globally reached 64.2 zettabytes in 2020. A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes a 1, followed by 21 zeros! And one zettabyte alone is enough storage for 30 billion movies or 7.5 trillion MP3 songs.
And we’re not even close to stopping. Over the next five years up to 2025, global data creation is projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes.
While it is difficult to visualize what a world completely absent from data would look like, let’s dissect the challenges facing organizations in the great data divide.
The Great Data Divide
The data divide refers to the unequal relationship between people, organizations, and even governments, capable of collecting, storing, and utilizing immense amounts of data, creating an astronomical amount of commercial value.
For example, between 2010-2022, data-focused technology organizations have achieved unparalleled success. The market capitalization of Google, Microsoft, and Meta skyrocketed by approximately 600 percent on average, reaching valuations in the trillions of dollars.
Unfortunately, while data and IoT strategies have significantly benefited organizations, others get left behind.
These are predominantly smaller organizations or those in the public sector that lag in education, tools, and resources to find, use, and implement data-driven solutions, resulting in an emerging data divide.
Simply put, organizations that have the capability to collect a large amount of data end up creating more opportunities and ways to add value for all stakeholders.
The Real Value of Data
Many of the benefits of IoT implementation create a domino of positive effects.
Increased efficiency – For instance, having more data on existing (and expected) inventory allows stakeholders to better manage manufacturing efforts to create the highest level of efficiency within the supply chain. Even for small organizations, 43 percent of those that implement IoT policies experience increased business agility by improving operational processes. A McKinsey study claimed a staggering 46 percent of businesses that adopted IoT strategies experienced efficiency gains.
Reduced costs – With deeper insights, predictive maintenance can be carried out on heavy machinery. This benefits numerous industries by reducing the time required to plan maintenance by 20 to 50 percent. According to a study by Deloitte, the ability of an organization to carry out predictive maintenance increases equipment uptime and availability by 10 to 20 percent, while reducing overall maintenance costs by 5 to 10 percent.
Boost employee productivity – Granular data through IoT can also provide an overview of employee productivity and help prioritize tasks according to which are improving business function, and which are impairing it. Activity monitoring improves productivity by 10 to 12 percent, while companies say that introducing IoT into the workplace has improved the effectiveness of their teams.
Uncover new revenue streams – IoT has been shown to uncover previously overlooked revenue streams. A report by Forbes has shown that 36 percent of companies are considering new directions in business thanks to their IoT initiatives.
At this point, it is difficult to work backward and imagine a world completely devoid of connectivity or the vast amounts of data and information so easily available today. The value of data and IoT are just glimpses of what you and your organization are currently missing out on by waiting to implement smart solutions. In sum, it compromises your business models and strategies.
So why wait? Join the estimated 83 percent of organizations that have introduced IoT technology and have improved their efficiency, reduced expenditures, and bettered output from employees.