Focus! …and Take IIoT Action

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Focus! …and Take IIoT Action

Your focus may be within your four walls – but the real value is shifting the Industrial IoT attention to your supply chain.

While the latest edge computing consolidates, contextualizes and filters end-point sensor data near the point of creation, it also provides a pathway for this data to be packaged and delivered. Where it’s delivered and how it’s used once delivered is key – sometimes obvious, but not necessarily easy to execute.

Substantial focus has been placed on the location of Industrial IoT data – is it sent to the cloud or processed at the edge or is it a combination? It’s expensive if the wrong path is taken; cloud fees can eat away ROI. In the end, many if not most corporations implementing an IoT platform, struggle to monetize on their investment.

Supply Chain Push and Pull

The daunting task has been to focus on the data entering into an IoT platform to ensure the most economical pathway is created to meet corporate goals. Let’s face it — the end goal is to make your entire supply chain more efficient while providing the best possible products and services to all customers. Once end customers are happy — loyalty increases, buying increases, retention increases—you know the drill.

Case in point — the president of a large fuel handling organization recently explained his bottom line with IIoT:  “Is it going to help me make better connectors on the floor? If not, we have to be careful we’re not creating a hammer looking for a nail.” This sentiment is not unusual for manufacturers looking to avoid IIoT pilot purgatory.

Actionable IoT in the Face of Industrial IoT Pilot Purgatory

Action must be taken on a small percentage of the IoT feeds where intervention must occur either via machine communication or human interaction – not just within a manufacturer – but within the supply chain ecosystem. Supply chains are becoming more fluid (Edge or Cloud: the six factors that determine where to put workloads), and this push and pull between members of the supply chain in the race for data is reaching lightning speed.

Organizations have come to realize the need to act faster hoping that the road of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and Machine Learning (ML) coupled with IoT will resolve the issue of progress. As these technologies are certainly the future, these may not be the panacea right now for many manufacturers. 

Shorten Your Road to Success

It seems the logical approach is to have both a long-term visionary approach coupled with short term, tangible goals that prove results. For many industrial manufacturers, reducing unplanned downtime may reap even unexpected savings.

Often, these manufacturers know their business, and are well aware of the areas where downtime and revenues are leaking. Using this knowledge coupled with new IIoT data with a heightened focus on outcomes and the actions necessary to avoid downtimes is a great short term goal.

This is measurable. It proves results, and provides a pathway to the long-term vision. Sometimes the obvious gets lost in the buzzwords and hype of new technology. In essence, the IIoT journey has become a much longer, lesser traveled road than anticipated. But, there’s a better way to navigate this by taking action, and showing real, tangible results in the short term vs. waiting for the IIoT panacea.


Kris headshot 2019This article was written by Kris Brannock, Executive Vice President at Vertical Solutions, a transformative technology company that focuses on Actionable IoT™ and service. A corporate growth strategy influencer and tech innovation enthusiast, Kris focuses her attention on disruptive innovation in IIoT and asset-intensive service. With experience on issues surrounding complex serviceable, asset-based environments with Fortune 1000 accounts, she provides tangible insight and results for executives looking to monetize on IoT investments.