Long before the advent of today’s smart wrist wearables, we saw Hollywood’s James Bond using his watch to receive messages from headquarters, and long before any company began prototyping connected cars, we saw him in high-speed car chases by navigating through the streets in his smart car augmented with sensors.
Previously the domain of fantasy, such devices are now becoming a reality as a new class of tools accessible to the government, consumers and businesses alike.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has rapidly become one of the most familiar expressions across the technology domain, with the potential to fundamentally shift the way we interact with our surroundings. Everyday objects are getting smarter and connected to the internet, thereby enabling the seamless transfer of information streams between devices, networks, organisations, industries and end users.
Key Trends in IoT 2018
- Smart Houses
- Smart Cities
- Smart Grids
- IoT in Healthcare
- Industrial IoT
- Connected Cars
- Smart Retail
What is the Future of IoT in 2020
It is predicted that by 2020, more than 50 billion devices (‘things’) will be connected, with revenues from IoT forecasted crossing 3 trillion USD the same year. This rapid adoption of IoT brings with it a new set of challenges, which raise questions about where and how these devices should be used. But first, it is crucial to understand the functionality of IoT and its implications on aspects of everyday life.
Article originally published by PWC
Businesses across the world are moving rapidly to connect their products and equipment to the Internet-of-Things, opening up opportunities to create new business models and transform how they run their operations and engage with customers. However, tapping into the IoT is only part of the story. For companies to realise the full benefits of IoT enablement, they need to combine IoT with rapidly-advancing Artificial Intelligence technologies, which enable ‘smart machines’ to simulate intelligent behaviour and take well-informed decisions with little or no human intervention.
Over the coming years, ongoing advances in AI will have profound impacts on jobs, skills and HR strategies in virtually every industry—underlining the fact that companies don’t have the luxury of time as they map out their plans for an AI-enabled world. Already, integrating AI into IoT networks is becoming a prerequisite for success in today’s IoT-based digital ecosystems.
So businesses must move rapidly to identify how they’ll drive value from combining AI and IoT—or face playing catch-up in years to come.
In a recent thought leadership paper¹, we described why the advent of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is a once-in-a-lifetime business disruption one that requires organisations to develop or acquire new capabilities in managing direct relationships with customers, supported by transformed operating and business models. But realising the promise of the IoT also requires something else. To achieve its full potential, the IoT needs to be combined with an equally powerful and disruptive set of technologies categorised as Artificial Intelligence (AI). The exponential growth of the IoT is well-known, as underlined by the projections in the accompanying information panel. However, less widely appreciated is the profound impact that AI will have on every aspect of our personal and working lives—an impact that will be magnified and multiplied by its combination with the IoT. In fact, the titanic shift and ongoing disruption caused by AI is set to be similar to that caused by the introduction of the personal computer in the 1980s. Like the PC, AI will lay the foundations for an immense acceleration in innovation throughout and beyond the coming decade, creating a significant boost for the global economy. In the 1980s, nobody could have fully imagined the broad and deep changes that PCs would bring to our lives. Similarly, few people today can envision what AI will mean to us over the coming decades.
The value proposition of IoT and AI
Smart sensors: Delivering pervasive benefits
The mutually beneficial relationship between IoT and AI is manifesting itself in many successful integrations of the two technologies in the B2B and B2B2C space. The value propositions that underpin the fusion of IoT and AI include smart sensors (or intelligent sensors), which combine IoT and AI to provide realtime data and feedback that enables systems to fulfil the three capabilities we highlighted above—namely:
Predictive: Real-time data can be analysed to determine when a large piece of machinery or equipment will break down, enabling the failure to be prevented through proactive intervention. For example, today a GE jet engine collects 500Gb of data per flight, taking a ‘snapshot’ every second of over 5,000 parameters including air speed calibration, altitude, cooling, exhaust gas temperature and flow, and ground speed. This is in stark contrast to previous generations of jet engine technology, where just 1 kb of data was generated per flight from three snapshots (take-off, cruising, landing) on 30 parameters. The resulting insights enable GE to boost performance by 287 times while also delivering a seven-fold reduction in costs.
Prescriptive: Intelligent sensors can suggest immediate action at the edges of the organisation, thus avoiding outages and even disasters. For example, sensors on railway tracks can warn the control centre of any track failures. Similarly, lane centring technology in cars self-corrects when the driver veers away from the centre of the lane.
Adaptive/autonomous: Continuous data feeds from sensors can enable systems to learn the right actions to take autonomously. For example, in a healthcare context, blood glucose sensors can automatically change the level of insulin delivered in response to patient need. Similarly, monorail systems in many airports and cities run autonomously without any human drivers.
IoT / AI applications will impact all industries
Given the scale and range of potential benefits on offer, it’s hardly surprising that companies in many industries are beginning to take steps to seize the opportunities presented by combining IoT and AI
Time to create a strategic plan for IoT/AI
The combined disruption from AI and IoT will reshape our personal and business lives in a dramatic manner that is not fully imaginable or comprehensible by most companies today.
At one end of the scale, it will displace routine, monotonous human jobs with machines. At the other, it will radically disrupt the competitive landscape, by giving the early adopters of AI tremendous advantages in terms of lower costs, better customer experiences and a head start in pursuing new business opportunities.
While the full impacts of this disruption will not arise overnight, they will come a lot faster and sooner than most businesses and individuals are currently expecting. So, smart companies and executives are not waiting for the tsunami of disruption to reach their shores before they react. Instead, they are moving now to start the strategic dialogue needed to fully understand and prepare
for the disruptions before they arrive. Companies that take this proactive, far-sighted approach can turn the upcoming disruptions from an irresistible force that could sweep them away, into a massive
opportunity that they’re well-placed to realise. Put simply, the AI revolution is here—and now is the time to get ready for it.
Click here to get the full report from PWC
From Siri to Alexa, customers are becoming accustomed to AI-powered solutions and soon they will expect the same for their local businesses. Sure, an AI roll-out can be daunting, but by adopting a strategic approach and adding smart software, small businesses will not only be able to differentiate themselves from competitors, but compete with the industry giants as well.
“While many over complicate the technology, AI’s behaviors are predictable”
– it’s merely an advanced system that is trained, not told. AI mimics the human brain in the way that it learns. It starts with no information, and after being given thousands of pieces of information, is able to understand and make predictions about data it has never seen before.
AI will become a threat to small businesses if owners believe it won’t impact them, or isn’t already impacting them. The fact is, AI has the potential to drastically help companies of all sizes work smarter and more efficiently than ever before.
Before acting on an AI roll-out, here are the top four questions small businesses should ask themselves:
1 . What is it you are looking to achieve?
AI can provide great value for sales, marketing, finance, HR, customer service, and more. Hone in on what exactly you are hoping to achieve with the use of AI – where do you need to increase productivity?
By setting highly focused goals, you will be able to develop a plan that prioritizes specific applications for AI technology. This way, small businesses can slowly adapt and familiarize themselves with the software, that will, overtime, drastically enhance the bottom line.
The most immediate benefit of AI is that it will provide immense efficiency. There will be less time entering data and more time getting valuable insight to augment decision making. There’s a mass amount of data waiting to be analyzed and AI will guide businesses on how to act.
2. What data is already in a system of record?
You’ll never hear the words “too much data” and “AI” used in the same sentence. AI systems become more accurate and effective as the volume of data increases. The big industry players have been accumulating business intelligence and already moved on to predictive analytics.
The first step in your AI project is to systematize your business . With the widespread adoption of cloud based solutions (SAAS) and the rapid reduction in the cost of storage and processing, the first step is to start instrumenting all elements of your business. Your website, your marketing activities, your sales – including the business that you “win” and “lose.”
Unlike huge, multi-national companies that are able to capture and process peta-bytes of data, small businesses have had access to significantly less data. This is changing with the adoption of cloud-based products and services and the availability of open data sets from governments and other providers. The goal for small business owners is to have the appropriate systems and infrastructure needed to go and analyze data and extract even more business value.
3. What is your ability to explore your business data and understand what’s going on objectively?
If you’re looking at the raw data it’s easy to “torture the data” to get the answer you want to be there – don’t fall victim to this habit.
Your goal is to generate several hypotheses from the data. Examine outliers and the associations between data elements. Be careful not to draw conclusions too early though, as outliers could be caused by “bad data” that needs to be cleaned up, and the relationships may not be strong enough to make any definitive conclusions. We often allow our personal biases and expectations get in the way of looking at data. The numbers don’t lie, but if we look at them expecting certain results, we may end up manipulating the information to meet our expectations. In order to take full advantage of AI, we need to be able to trust the numbers.
You don’t need to use expensive tools; use the reports and dashboards that are built into the tools you already have and approach the problem with an inquisitive mind. Look for the unexpected and when you detect something that’s interesting, create one or more hypothesis to explain what you’re seeing, and then set about to prove or disprove it.
4. Are your technology providers able to support these capabilities to provide more meaningful insights?
AI will not provide any benefit if small businesses lack the IT infrastructure to support it. Start by upgrading your approach to IT – move toward a cloud-based resource that can support AI once implemented. Data is a prerequisite to introducing AI into a system, and a paper system is useless when it comes to incorporating AI.
Make sure your goals are aligned with the direction your software is going. If it doesn’t seem as though your software provider is working toward the same future as you, it might be time to consider another option. It’s important to ensure your provider is taking steps to remain relevant in the future of technology.
If you’re just getting started on the business analytics journey, begin by using the reports and dashboards that your systems have today. Become familiar with the digital assistants that are already on your smartphone; explore what they are already able to do and stay current with how these systems are evolving.
By making an effort to understand and embrace AI, small businesses are optimizing operations, improving customer-service, and growing their bottom line. Imagine where your company would be if you didn’t embrace the uncertainty of the internet or didn’t go mobile in the age of the smartphone. Artificial intelligence is the newest technology adding efficiency and intellect to small business – don’t be late to adapt; be better, faster, smarter operators with the use of AI.
Christine Crandell is the author of this article, that was developed with Kevin Haaland, CTO of The Better Software Company, a SaaS platform to small business and franchise owners.
The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) determines how your business does business from 25th May 2018. There are big changes on the way. Your business will need to manage, administer and protect personal data whether you work in B2B or B2C marketing.
The application of GDPR is highly fact-specific. We encourage all organizations using this GDPR Detailed Assessment to contact Infovinity for a free Consultation to discuss GDPR, how it applies specifically to your organization, and how best to ensure compliance.
To help you prepare we have developed this GDPR Assessment/ checklist based on the latest information available. Use it to assess your business and find out which areas you need to focus on. This GDPR Detailed Assessment is intended to assist organizations with assessing their GDPR compliance progress. We hope the GDPR Detailed Assessment identifies technologies and additional steps that organizations can implement to simplify their GDPR compliance efforts.