The Untapped Potential of the IoT and Smart Utilization of Heavy Industrial Assets

IIoT projects work best with an outcome-centric approach coupled with design thinking, which applies new-age technologies in the context of a domain to create tangible impact for sustainable competitive advantage.
By Sukant Acharya

Connecting Smart Assets With the IIoT to Drive Better Insights and Predictive Maintenance
With connected smart assets and the IIoT, organizations can reimagine the assets as an integrated pillar of strategy and operations that is both a source and a consumption point for information. Connected assets can trigger insights to help predict failure, and hence decide the need for critical spare parts.

The possibilities are endless—inventory management becomes a dynamic insight-based procurement for inventory optimization; condition-based monitoring can provide real-time insights to dynamically plan for field force optimization; and operational insight can combine with environment and context to decide control actions for performance optimization.

Despite the Possibilities of Smart Assets and the IoT, Challenges Still Remain
While the untapped potential of the IoT in the industrial world has delivered meaningful progress, companies face innumerable challenges. Organizations often over-focus on technical aspects of solution deployment and are biased to over-focus on connectivity and en-masse data collection, while the crucial upstream part of how to best leverage results in new ways is postponed to the mythical later phase.

Often, research and development teams have high expectations for data collection and are thus disappointed when the data arrives to the cloud and only a fraction of it can be utilized for value. By utilizing smart data in real time, connected more through asset-management process, the IIoT brings discipline to ensure value-realized aligns with value-envisioned. Business case takes the precedence. IIoT projects work best with an outcome-centric approach coupled with design thinking, which applies new-age technologies in the context of a domain to create tangible impact for sustainable competitive advantage.

Smart and connected assets create the base for innovation by design. Intelligent assets feed the information to perform advanced analytics for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to better control the product lifecycle, which helps with innovation because owner-operators can sell outcome instead of service. They can create entirely new business models linked to outcome, enabling a fundamental shift in business models geared toward the consumerism trend in the business-to-business world.

Sukant Acharya is the VP of sales for high technology, manufacturing and services, and the global head of IoT business, at Genpact, a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation.

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