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Author's profile photo Iver van de Zand

IoT in Phases Part Two: Four Industries Highlighted

internet _of_things_context_awareness_blogIn last week’s post, I discussed the three phases that IoT initiatives go through as they enter the market. Today, I’ll take a closer look at the first two phases, highlight four industries that have IoT initiatives, and give specific uses cases for those industries.

A little deep dive on the first two phases of IoT—customer experience and extending business value— makes me define three groupings of use cases to which they apply:

1) Asset management: To monitor the status, condition, movement or physical asset of the device in order to increase performance, efficiency, health or security of these assets. The focus is on the asset. Analytics is the way to get insights on this focus

2) Customer experience: Here the emphasis is on providing a contextualized and personalized customer experience based on information collected about this customer (B2C or B2B) or employee. The focus is on the experience solely.

3) Product and service experience: The focus is on enhancing a product or deliver a product related service on the IoT enabled asset. Typically a phase II use case since the enhancements are being created by combining IoT insights with other data. Supply chain optimization is an example.

Recent studies showed four industries have specific intentions to pursue IoT initiatives in both phase I and II. These industries are:

  • Consumer products (food, beverage, beauty, and health)
  • Healthcare
  • Discrete Manufacturing (automotive, defense, aerospace, farm, construction)
  • Retail

iot momentum

Consumer Products and IoT

Consumer products is an industry that embraced IoT already at an early stage. The most applicable use cases here are engaging customers by understanding their shopping and consumption patterns. Examples are store shelf status, consumer pantry, but also actual home based product usage for customer replenishment.

Discrete Manufacturing and IoT

In discrete manufacturing the focus is regarding visibility or tracking and eventually progressing to more sophisticated processes that require automated or predictive workflows and responses and provide a level of resource or outcome optimization.

IoT-enabled change through connected products is here or very close for most discrete manufacturers — to collect and analyze actual product performance data, influence future product development, improve service delivery, and increase customer satisfaction. Similarly, the integration of IT assets and information with operational technology in the plant and the supply chain is also on the road map or already started. The most successful investments will create significant business advantage and digital transformation.

Healthcare and IoT

Healthcare focus is telehealth, focusing on initiatives like remote health monitoring, fitness and activity tracking, medication adherence, or personal emergency follow up. Healthcare organizations across the globe are in the midst of a significant transformation as a result of health reforms, which has led to reimbursement focused on value, not volume.

Under this new paradigm, healthcare organizations must become more efficient in how they deliver care. They must also strive to engage consumers to play a more active role in managing their own healthcare because consumer behavior (diet, exercise, compliance with therapeutic regimens, smoking, and alcohol and substance abuse) influences overall health status.

It is already clear that once IoT is embraced to its full potential in health care, that same IoT will be the disruptive force. The ability to monitor consumers remotely or conduct a virtual visit via video is transforming how care is delivered. Providers have discovered that it can be more cost effective to send a patient home with a tablet and remote health monitoring device to detect complications before they become so serious that the patient must be readmitted, thus avoiding 30-day readmission penalties for certain conditions.

Retail and IoT

For retail, the most common use cases are about connecting consumers to products and product related information. It is all about the experience strongly driven by analytics. The consumer of the future requires that retailers provide engaging, personalized, and digital experiences. Something that can only (!) be done based upon a strong analytics-driven foundation using insights and predictive models.

Specific Use Cases

Here are some thoughts (source IDC 2016) on specific uses cases for Phase One and Two for the four groups.

Asset Management:

  • Assets include finished goods and components; electrical and mechanical systems; IT and operational assets, including fleets; rental goods and equipment; medical equipment and supplies (e.g., wheelchairs, gurneys, crash charts); and larger systems of assets, such as a network of plants, facilities, stores, or warehouses.
  • For healthcare: Combining connected vehicle technology with a real-time location system (RTLS) to enable equipment and supplies to “come when called” or sense when needed based on data collected from other devices or systems
  • For discrete and consumer products manufacturing: Preventive and predictive maintenance in the plant and supply chain; the ability to dynamically reroute or optimize real-time supply and demand trade-offs; ensuring process safety and security objectives are intact
  • For consumer products and retail: Sensor technology to track and geo-position promotional end aisle displays to ensure that the displays are in the correct place and fully stocked

Customer Experience:

  • Influencing the experience of the customer/consumer/employee in the context of multiple environments, including healthcare centers, retail stores, and any operational facilities, as well as in customer-specific locations
  • For healthcare: Monitoring medication adherence with escalating reminders and alerts for refills; ingestible sensors to track consumption, combined with mobile health apps and remote health monitoring devices to evaluate drug and care efficacy; using sensor-enabled clinician badges to track handwashing, hours logged on a shift, movement through the facility, and training attendance; remote health monitoring, wearable activity, and wellness trackers
  • For discrete and consumer products manufacturing: Controlled access to location, equipment, or equipment capabilities based on operator role; direct monitoring/input of user preferences for the product innovation process based on actual usage and buy/no-buy selections
  • For consumer products and retail: Consumer insights, interactions, and marketing in-store based on consumer location and product in proximity; dynamic replenishment model based on actual product usage or store shelf status
  • For retail: Determining optimal product positioning, digital fitting rooms, and augmented reality fitting
  • For retail and healthcare: Personal lifestyle planners and purchasing assistants (based on contextualized dietary, exercise, and health requirements)

Product and Service Experience:

  • Most applicable to discrete and consumer products manufacturing
  • Adaptable product-enabled services (personalized, prepared, and finished products)
  • Adaptable product-enabled services (personalized, prepared, and finished products)
  • Remote condition or location monitoring and preventive maintenance
  • Automated replenishment of consumables
  • Warranty and service contract compliance and delivery
  • Source of actual product performance in customer environment
  • Input for future product innovation and development of services and new customer experiences
  • Tracking and traceability information from all suppliers and contract manufacturing and owned factory locations to maintain product quality and product-related compliance objectives

Conclusion: It’s All About Analytics and IoT

In all phases of IoT evolvements, it’s crystal clear that business analytics is the compelling factor when IoT needs to be successful. Only when based upon a rock solid data foundation with personalized and tailored insights, can the user experience and business value extensions  reach the levels enterprises are aiming for.

I already liked analytics a lot, but this conclusion makes me even more passionate.

This blog originally appeared on Iver van de Zand’s blog and has been republished here with permission.


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      Author's profile photo Maxim Tretyakov
      Maxim Tretyakov

      Yes, we can only confirm that IoT and its subset - RTLS - are required in absolutely different areas. Just examples to show the range of the projects we are engaged in:

      • Precise tracking of a hook of a large bridge crane on a steel factory
      • VR/AR for museums
      • Precisely tracking visitors in museums
      • Autonomous delivery robots for assembly plants
      • Autonomous drones indoor for inspection
      • Tracking hockey players
      • Geo-fencing on construction size
      • Geo-fencing under the moving cranes (plants and ships)

      And many-many. All of them basically want to now "where the people or vehicles/robots are; what they do; whether they are safe"

      A few demos: