Changing micro and macroeconomics with the internet of things

Call it the internet of things, machine data or sensor-driven analytics, but the world has an untapped natural resource – a rich seam of data 

The challenge companies face is to access the resource of machines that pre-date internet of things (IoT) concepts and deliver tangible value, not only to their business, but to the wider economy. Right now, however, companies are being asked to shoe-horn IoT into existing cloud-based technology infrastructures, citing the benefits of centrally managed big data analytics.

Yet while pattern-matching and big data trending will without doubt offer significant benefits through improved strategic decision-making, this approach misses the real benefits of IoT – namely real-time, automated decision capabilities that respond to events to transform efficiency and cut costs.

Enhancing the existing infrastructure with an IoT software layer creates processing capacity at the source

For example, IMS Evolve is working with global retailers to harness sensor information from refrigeration and building management systems, legacy equipment and many other machine types, through the combination of edge-based analytics, standards-based integration strategies and real-time decision capabilities. The results have shown massive reductions in food waste and comprehensive energy management strategies incorporating an exciting new range of different metrics.

This business transformation requires the management of millions of dynamic data points actioned at thousands of locations every minute of every day. By creating genuine analytics, the retailers can understand the underlying condition of each machine’s contribution and through continual assessment ensure performance is not compromising food quality or the customer experience.

It is clearly not realistic to attempt to relocate such huge volumes of data across corporate networks to house it centrally in a data cloud. Existing networks would have to be massively upgraded if the organisation was to avoid critical issues, such as data gravity and data latency, which could affect key corporate processes.

Instead, enhancing the existing infrastructure with an IoT software layer creates processing capacity at the source. Decisions are made and executed at the edge, in context with other local data if required, and only the actionable insight shared with the central resource. This approach is cost effective; there is no requirement for prohibitive infrastructure investments and organisations can build in local rules that reflect the specific demands of the environment to refine operations further. It is this local analytic and diagnostic capability that is key to delivering the operational benefits that can be enabled by IoT.

The value of this real-time activity extends far beyond the financial benefits derived by a single organisation. Indeed, it is the collaborative potential offered by IoT that is so compelling on a macroeconomic level, from reducing food waste to transforming energy consumption. Collaborations between energy producers and energy consumers, for example, can support highly sophisticated demand-response models that will be key to reducing consumption and building flexibility into the UK’s ageing power network.

By changing the profile of energy consumption in any given physical location or asset to respond to the overall capacity within the grid, while still ensuring devices are operating efficiently, organisations have the chance to reduce consumption and become easier to supply, resulting in reduced power costs. This potential is recognised at national level, with IMS Evolve currently leading a project co-funded by Innovate UK within the cold chain, which consumes 15 per cent of the UK’s entire energy production.

With the practical application of IoT, we are transforming essential operations and creating new business models. It is by leveraging real-time machine data to reduce energy consumption, manage waste and transform the cost of asset ownership that both businesses and governments will attain tangible, long-term value from this new, essential data resource.

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INTRODUCING IMS EVOLVE

IMS Evolve was founded with the clear mission of developing the latest technologies to make businesses work better, understanding the importance of using limited resources wisely. Since before the internet of things, IMS Evolve has been delivering cloud connectivity for all machines, from refrigeration to cash machines and from legacy machines to the latest technology.

IMS Evolve has now matured into a trusted and essential partner, working with some of the world’s leading brands. Their technology and expertise has become essential to the upgrade, maintenance and evolution of hundreds of thousands of machines throughout the world.

With teams of experienced strategists, software developers and technical engineers, they deliver unique solutions and uncover the true potential of any machine network. Their skills combine to deliver a variety of tangible business benefits, from cost-savings and energy management to automation, monitoring, ticketing and facilitating auditable internal communications.

IMS Evolve can offer you complete visibility of your entire estate, simplified in a format that can show your teams how to understand and use the data and analytics to change your business for the better.