The Advent of the Internet of Things- Are Manufacturers Ready?

The Advent of the Internet of Things- Are Manufacturers Ready?

By Shehwar Ali

In order to understand the tide of change which is being brought by the Internet of Things (IoT) and the consequent preparations which manufacturers across the globe are undertaking, it is vital to understand what the Internet of Things is in the first place.

What is IoT?

Bluntly put, IoT is the ‘big thing’ which claims to connect ‘all things’. While we believe that smartphones and tablets have had a very influential impact on our lives, this influence is negligible in the face of the tremendous potential of IoT.

The very redundant cliché which we come across almost every day is that we live in an extremely inter-connected global village. The advent of smartphones and tablets has only served to further strengthen these connections. But, if IoT is actually capable of doing everything that it claims to do, then we are nowhere near a truly connected world. Objects of any type, kind and description such as cars, books, kettles, jewelry, clothes, teeth or pretty much anything would be fitted up with tiny sensors that would be equipped with internet. These sensors would then eventually come up with actionable data.

IoT & the Big Industry Players

This implies that soon the ‘big data’ is going to be knowing no bounds. The industry’s bigger players such as Intel, Apple and Google are already entrenching their feet in this future goldmine. Apple is rolling out wearable smart devices whereas Intel has come up with a PC which is just the size of an SD card. Google on the other hand has acquired Nest Labs to stay in the run.

Implications of IoT

Now that the big game seems to be on, it is evident that the Internet of Things is going to have major implications. Whether it’s the manufacturing industry or the healthcare sector, IoT has a dual split approach and can benefit businesses enormously. On one hand, it can go a long way in improving the manufacture and development of both products and services and on the other hand, rather as a consequence, it can greatly enhance profitability.

How Will IoT Serve Manufacturers?

Both the health care sector as well as the manufacturing industry have got a lot to do with supplier networks and logistics which are crucial to sustain the services that they supply. If this process becomes IoT enabled, i.e. equipped with sensors coming up with the ‘big data’, then the process would not only become intelligent but also much more efficient, thus resulting in increased profitability.

Are Manufacturers Ready To Take On the IoT Challenge?

Thus, IoT is bringing on glad tidings for manufacturers across the globe. In fact, the utility industry is already setting itself up to meet the grand change by deploying smart meters and other such devices.

But, what the manufacturers need to remember is that this profitable new technology will require an investment on their part; maybe not on the hardware since these sensors can be attached to practically anything, but definitely on the software. And since the technology would be new and ripe as a peach, there would definitely be upfront costs associated with it.

So, what the manufacturers need to prepare for is not only the big prospects which will be opened by IoT but also the big investment that it would entail.

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