According to the all-knowing oracle, Google: future-proofing a business is anticipating the future and developing methods of minimizing the effects of shocks and stresses of future events. Just imagine how different things would have been if all businesses were future-proofed and prepared for a pandemic in the 21st century?
When you have meetings about post-pandemic lessons learnt, the agenda might have to include the following:
- Zero–emissions as per COP26,
- De-risking the business, its employees and customers, and
- Saving costs.
The most reassuring part of embarking on a future-proofing journey is that already tailor-made solutions exist today. IoT.nxt solutions are designed to ensure cost savings, safer business environments for employees and customers, and a notable reduction in emissions, electricity and water usage. Let’s dive into the reasons why you need to future-proof your business in 2022.
The IoT adoption rate is increasing globally.
According to IoT Analytics’ Overall Enterprise IoT market, the overall money businesses spent on an Internet of Things solution in 2020 was $128.9b, increasing to $159.8b in 2021. This trend is supported by the increased adoption of IoT solutions projected for 2022. In addition, more trends have emerged from the annual IoT Use Case Adoption Report, indicating that use cases (solutions) focusing on improving operations and assets are rising as IoT initiatives are becoming more successful. Improved operations should be reason enough to future-proof your business.
Surveying 200+ companies, IoT Analytics’ 2021 IoT Use Case Adoption report revealed that these companies have adopted on average 8 IoT use cases in the last two years, the most common solution being Smart Operations (remote asset tracking, monitoring, and automation). The surveyed companies also recognize the importance of Smart Operations in the coming years.
The increase in global IoT solution adoption for modern business problems proves that more and more businesses are acknowledging the positive impact of intelligent technologies and their role in tackling future/current problems.
Return on investment, a case for cost savings.
However, some businesses remain hesitant in adopting IoT solutions for many reasons, such as security concerns, system integration challenges, customization and the initial capital investment. But with the allure of cost savings, process efficiencies, and increased business confidence comes the realization that IoT technologies in the form of sensors, smart gateways and intelligent platforms are the building blocks for solving future problems today.
While the specific savings are dependent on many company-specific factors, there is no doubt that IoT solutions bring about significant cost reductions. Universally, using less will result in paying less. Considering 30% of global energy consumption resides in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) usage inside buildings. Monitoring the energy usage can lead to significant cost savings and process efficiencies by automatically switching off lights and HVAC systems that are not required.
The cost-saving opportunities of an IoT solution go even further. Future-proofing your business will depend on the ability to predict when downtime will occur. Unplanned downtime of assets cut into the potential profits of any business, no matter the industry. A recent study by the International Society of Automation indicated that predictive downtime (5.42%) is lagging planned (7.96%) and reactive/unplanned downtime (8.43%). Suppose you can predict and limit asset or service downtime. In that case, you can avoid the cost associated with unplanned downtime, therefore increasing your potential revenue.
The cost savings start to snowball once you recognize the infinite possibilities of a tailor-made IoT solution. For example, think of fleet vehicles that can be monitored and utilize AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning); the most efficient speeds and routes can be provided in real-time. The safety and security of the cargo and driver can be viewed in real-time. The cost benefits that stem from a solution like this increases exponentially when applied at scale.
You can only measure what you can monitor.
But saving costs requires visibility into and of your business. IoT is the vehicle into the 4th industrial revolution and digitalization, which is the pillar of future-proofing your business; it also opens up new capabilities such as seeing your entire business operations. Having visibility of your business functions is vital for success. The efficiency of your business processes can only be measured once you monitor those assets involved in the process.
Real-time monitoring of critical assets will bring about insights that can help the business predict, understand and manage changes as and when they occur. In addition, IoT device connections are on the increase, and security is improving. Future-proofing will involve connecting your older technologies with new sensors and retrofitting IoT devices in your business to ‘make it smarter’. The more available device type connections, with increased security, means you can connect to and receive data from new and old assets in your business, from anywhere.
With much visibility comes much responsibility.
Monitoring assets to drive efficiencies will automatically unlock a piece of this future-proofing puzzle – the data. The insights to be gained from monitoring and measuring assets will allow teams within the business to identify anomalies and trends and make data-driven decisions. Better yet, AI and ML models can be applied to these newly acquired insights to extract even more value from the data. Having cross-functional business information available is the key to future-proofing your business.
An example of “insights at work” is monitoring building spaces for utilization, Covid-19 social distance regulations, and smart utilities. For example, data insights can be used to reduce utility costs in buildings by viewing the utilities such as electricity and water usage through smart meters and sensors. Even more significant, the unique solutions can be used to extract more efficiencies in office spaces or the shop floor.
Desk and space booking systems, utilities and occupancy management can lead to huge savings and efficiencies in any office space, warehouse, shopping centre or mall. The insights will show which rooms are underutilized or lights and air-conditioning systems that are overutilized.
With targeted solutions like these, your business will contribute to the COP26 directives by reducing its Co2 while adhering to a safer, Covid-free workspace or shopping centre. When employees or customers return to work or visit your stores, you are responsible for ensuring a safe, comfortable work or shopping experience. You can only do this if you have eyes on the little details (HVAC, water, air quality, security, social distancing, live temperature monitoring) of your office buildings and retail spaces. The ability to either change the parameters of those details in real-time or have automated triggers to change it accordingly is an example of a future-proofed business.
Now that we know why you need to future-proof your business in 2022, what criteria must a future-proof solution have?
It would be best if you moved your business into the digital age by adopting technology that enables you to monitor assets and processes that you previously have not or could not. The technology must allow you to keep your current technology investment, be it hardware or applications, old or new. It must transform your current technology into smart technology. The future-proof solution must securely and in real-time bring your data to you, wherever you are on any device.
Finally, the solution must allow you to choose pre-set AI and ML models. And apply it to any problem your business might experience now or in the future; you shouldn’t have to hire new employees with specific skills to extract value from your business data.
Are you preparing for the future? Choose the right fit for your business.
The many tailor-made IoT.nxt solutions certainly meet the criteria of a future-proof solution. So, select the right solution that will enable your business to anticipate and prepare for any changes the future may bring while saving you money, improving your processes and taking your business into the unknown confidently.
Choose IoT.nxt in 2022.
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