Big Data Is Getting Bigger — Largely Thanks to IoT

The sheer size and variety of data traversing today’s networks are increasing exponentially. This highly distributed data is generated by a wide range of cloud and enterprise applications, websites, social media, computers, smartphones, sensors, cameras, and much more — all coming in different formats and protocols. IoT contributes significantly to this rising volume — often by generating a high frequency of relatively small amounts of data. Our survey respondents predict strong growth in all types of connected assets (facilities, vehicles, and production equipment) driven by IoT. In fact, nearly 90 percent expect the amount of data transmitted by their networks to increase “somewhat” or “significantly” over the next five years. There are myriad IoT use cases that generate large amounts of operational data:

  • A jet engine generates 1TB of data per flight
  • A large refinery generates 1TB of raw data per day.
  • As cars get smarter, the number of sensors is projected to reach as many as 200 per car.
  • Sensors of all types will generate immense amounts of data. In fact, analysts estimate that by 2020, 40 percent of all data will come from sensors.

This wealth of widely distributed and often unstructured data is arriving at an accelerating rate — 90 percent of world’s data was created in the last two years.

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Integrating, Automating, and Analyzing IoT Data

  • Integrating data from multiple sources
  • Automating the collection of data
  • Analyzing data to effectively identify actionable insights

Only by addressing all three can organizations turn raw data into information and actionable insights.

Analyzing Data to Effectively Identify Actionable Insights

Whether it is in the cloud or at the edge, IoT data must be analyzed to identify actionable insights that can be used to create better outcomes (such as from process optimization or improved customer engagement). Without this critical step, data remains just “data.” Insights then need to be embedded into efforts such as process re-engineering and broader business transformations.

From IoT-Data Driven Insights to Process Improvement

Analytics-driven insights will drive the opportunity for process change and optimization. In many cases, these insights will foster transformative rather than incremental changes in business and operational processes. For example, our survey respondents indicated that IoT has the potential to fully automate up to 50 percent of their existing manual operational processes.

The implications of this opportunity are difficult to overstate. In most cases, a company that automates 50 percent of its existing manual processes will look nothing like it does today.

Consider the following hypothetical scenarios:

  • What if a transportation company could fully automate half of the driving of its trucks?
  • What if a retailer could fully automate the customer experience for shoppers, including payments and delivery?
  • What if a manufacturer could automate half of its current manual production processes?

While many organizations have not advanced as far as these examples on the IoT maturity curve, we are beginning to see process improvements of this magnitude. Amazon, for example, is currently employing scores of autonomous robots in its huge Seattle warehouse, which could help the online retail giant save as much as 40 percent on fulfillment costs.

Process Transformation – Promises Unprecedented IoT Value-Creation Opportunities

When organizations optimize their processes for IoT, they can achieve a number of important business outcomes, including:

  • Enhanced quality of products and
  • Services
  • Reduced costs with OpEx savings
  • Improved decision-making
  • Faster Innovation