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Smart IoT: Bridging Gap Between Expectations and Reality

2/9/2020

Image of a truck on a bridge at sunsetBy Murthy Jayanthi, Sr. Director Product Management

This is the first post of a two-part series.

IOT: The Gap Between Expectations & Reality – A Holistic Approach to Solving Business Challenges

Over the past few decades, Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have moved into virtually every aspect of industrial automation and operations. Seamless connectivity, technology-agnostic interoperability and data-uniformity have enabled operators to easily monitor, manage and leverage data from any number of proprietary assets and processes in ways that, before, were simply cost prohibitive.

During this time, we’ve also seen the influence of the IoT extend beyond the factory floor to the cloud. Transferring quantities of real-time data and metrics to the cloud to feed analytics, predictive AI and enterprise data applications for absolute (almost clairvoyant) awareness, intelligence and knowledge has become the holy grail, and in rare cases, reality.

All too often, however, IoT solutions have been designed, implemented and managed on the underlying principle of providing efficiency through automation, without considering broader (more holistic) system-based and business challenges. In the race to digitize, far less thought was given to the real value of the IoT and its ability to help enterprises future-proof their capital investments.

As a result, many enterprises have implemented technology simply for technology’s sake and after the novelty wore off, operators were left with yet another system to learn, maintain and pay-off. Even under the best scenarios, operation managers found that their IoT footprint was anything but low overhead; the majority of IoT solutions on the market require significant allocation of implementation, integration and training resources. More importantly, these solutions added unnecessary operational complexity that forced enterprises to shift focus from their core-competencies, which included building collaborative partnerships, managing staff, enhancing customer user-experiences, as well as government-mandated safety standards.

Today, few industrial IoT solutions are engineered from the ground-up to solve business challenges and uncover opportunities in a sustainable value-added way. If you ask operation managers what their top four pain-points are, they’ll likely say:

  1. I don’t have a way to efficiently orchestrate our complex workflows of materials, tools and people.
  2. I can’t track the location or condition of my assets or prevent them from getting lost or stolen.
  3. I have no idea how to leverage our partner relationships and tie into their inventory and distribution systems.
  4. I don’t have a good way of keeping my operational costs in check.

Fortunately, recent advances in IoT technologies now make digital twins (virtual representations of physical assets) possible, because it’s now technically and economically feasible to collect larger volumes of data from a wider range of sources.

The Cloudleaf Digital Visibility Platform addresses the pain points listed above by providing unrivaled, continuous visibility and intelligence into your supply chain. By creating a digital twin of your supply chain, including assets and materials, we make it possible for you to know where all your critical materials are at every step and stage, all the time. The platform processes billions of events every second to give you diagnostic and predictive insights. You’ll know their exact condition and status, including temperature, humidity, vibration and acceleration—and when thresholds for each are out of variance. You have the right data, at the right time, to make the right decisions.

Read the second post of this series.