IoT-Enabled Asset Optimization: A Matter of Life and Death

Asset utilization/ optimization is one of the few now-term, horizontal, killer applications in the Internet of Things.

083013blogimage-600x450IoT-enabled asset utilization/ optimization will instrument physical assets that have been heretofore dark, anonymous and subsequently sub-optimal in their application.

This illumination will, along with evidence of its ROI, energize many executives to invest in these capabilities.

Operators of assets with cost and performance pressures related to, or rooted in, sub-optimal asset utilization will see asset availability go up. And if they are good marketers, operating in healthy markets, they will see their revenue and margin increase as well.

The examples are everywhere:

  1. We know a public sector fleet manager who realized a six-month payback period on connecting 300 assets after turning on a single application. ROI has been the gift that keeps on giving with each new additional function rolled out.
  2. We have partnered with an industrial/ commercial asset OEM that saw literally every KPI go up, some marginally, others materially, and a couple exponentially when they deployed a system that stretched the boundary of ‘subscriber’ to include customers’ customers in the shared intelligence chain.
  3. We are investing in a project that introduces ‘ground truth’ – sensor data – to management of a class of assets that has been largely supported by an on-call, ad-hoc, incident response-repair strategy. The pilots are showing promising ROI in both targeted and unexpected places.

Builders of assets with differentiation and growth pressures related to, or rooted in, the value their products create or enable for customers, will see a powerful, marketable capability.

They will enable their customers to do more with less.

And they, their customers and prospects will see the value proposition of IoT-enabled products – lower cost of ownership, higher uptime, greater revenue and margin potential.

And all that will resonate with prospects, and the asset OEMs will sell more.

In every market.

So Why Not IoT?

There is significant resistance to IoT-enabled solutions in a number of markets because a number of stakeholders with interests in the assets that we are proposing to instrument, connect and optimize, are not prepared to compete in markets where inefficiencies are thinner and fewer.

This is in part because they are thinking only in terms of existing customers, traditional markets, static definitions of value.

Some companies will die when we instrument the physical world, connect these assets, enhance their optimization. Their death will be due to a lack of the key elements needed to sustain their business in the IoT-enabled world— authentic domain expertise, deep subject matter knowledge, relevant operating experience, and the capability to work through change in a meaningful way with new sources of information, intelligence and ideas.

But it doesn’t have to be so scary.

The Right Connections are Lifesavers

Connecting machines is no panacea. No guarantee. No insurance policy.

Asset builders/ OEMs and asset owners/ operators need to be intelligent and intentional in their Industrial Internet strategies.

And they need the right partners. It’s not enough to connect machines. Asset builders/OEMs and asset owners/operators need to connect people. They need partners with the domain expertise, knowledge, and experience to help them realize the promise and potential of the Internet of Things.

For companies competing in a connected world, it’s a matter of life and death.

To explore more of Chris Rezendes’ deep thoughts on the Industrial Internet, view his talk at TEDxSanDiego 2013.