Don’t hold back – the Internet of Things is happening now

First we had the Internet of Content, followed by the Internet of People. Now we have the third generation – the Internet of Things (IoT).  It’s just one name (also known as Industry 4.0 in Germany) given to a technology revolution that I strongly believe companies should be embracing now. It will help you stay up with the competition and transform your business.

IoT is a journey you need to start now

We should discard the myths around IoT. There’s nothing to be gained from hesitating on the premise that the IoT needs to be researched. It’s here and although it may be unevenly distributed from one industry or business to the next, that’s not a good enough reason for not starting. Some SAP customers are forging ahead and more companies and government organizations need to exploit IoT concepts to drive some of the outcomes they need. Being behind is not going to be a good place to be. And remember, IoT isn’t just a short, one-off project – it’s a journey.

Where to start? It’s a good question but not one that should hold you back. Of course, implementing an IoT strategy isn’t something one person – say an IT manager – can do on their own. It should be a holistic approach. If you’re not yet on the journey, then start by talking with your business leadership.  They’ll tell you about the data-driven business models their competition are using.  Your business also needs to identify desired business outcomes and efficiencies. Then get to work on those areas that are of highest value to your organization by exploiting the IoT technologies available. Action now will help enable your company to survive in a data driven competitive world.

IoT in practice

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) is a great example of an organization embracing IoT to their advantage. HPA is responsible for the port’s roads, rail, streets and waterways. The port has a current turnover of nine million containers, which is expected to grow to 25 million by 2025. Traffic is increasing accordingly, but space will always be limited, so they need to look for solutions.

Thanks to the IoT and partnerships with SAP and Telekom the port is no longer clogged with lorry drivers who’ve arrived ahead of schedule to collect their load. The IoT is helping ensure that lorry drivers are there on time rather than on schedule or according to plan – so exactly when the containers are ready for pick-up – and therefore not taking up scarce space unnecessarily. As a result, traffic now runs smoothly at the port and they have increased container turnover.

Like HPA, customers in general are starting to understand the need for crunching data in real time. They’re getting the idea that having a digitization agenda is a way to remain competitive and get the advantage. So for any organization hesitating in getting started with the IOT, I urge them to get on the path. We can illustrate that it can and should be walked.

To hear more about the IoT journey and the Port of Hamburg case study, watch the Run Simple Show – Connecting to the IoT to transform your business at http://virtualrunsimpletour.com/runsimpleseries

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