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El IoT, ¿la nueva frontera de la Industria?

El Internet de las cosas (IoT) es el camino para aportar inteligencia a máquinas y dispositivos. En este blog, exploramos cómo combinar el valor estratégico de IoT con la seguridad, y el papel que el nuevo Cloud K5 puede jugar en la reducción del riesgo asociado con esta nueva frontera.

IoT – a new Wild West in manufacturing, utilities and the built environment?

Sanjeev Kamboj, Head of PreSales & Architecture EMEIA, Hybrid IT, Fujitsu – January 2017

“How can we grow the business when market share rarely changes?” “How can we shift our focus from transactions to customer relations?” “How can we use ‘dumb’ machines more intelligently?” These are some of the strategic questions that are being debated internally by companies I have met with recently that operate in the manufacturing, built environment and utilities space.

These questions might have existed regardless of the emergence of the digital enterprise. But I suspect they have come about precisely because of what the digital enterprise can offer. Specifically, the ability of the cloud-powered organisation to be proactive in the market. And more specifically still, the huge potential from the Internet of Things (IoT).

A few years ago there were vending machines, rivers and machining equipment. Today there are smart vending machines, smart rivers and smart machining equipment.

In Japan, for example, Fujitsu has been working with a major utility to introduce sensors in rivers and streams. These IoT devices are used to analyse flood risks by continually and automatically collecting data on river levels and the cleanliness of the water. In turn, this information allows the company to alert customers to potential disruption from floods (road closures, service downtime, etc). As a result, customer satisfaction increases.

To take the other examples, vending machines now ‘talk’ to the logistics hub. They scream, ‘Feed me!” when stocks are running low. But they also stay silent when they don’t need filling. And this saves the stockist from wasted trips. And for machining equipment? It might not seem like IoT data could be useful until you look into embedded micro-electronics and material performance per cubic inch1.

A new frontier for IT
Yet when it comes to all these sensors and IoT devices it seems like we’re suddenly in some kind of Wild West 2.0. Estimates from industry analysts like Gartner and IDC put the number of IoT devices coming online by the turn of the century in the tens of billions. But with no current security or management standards, how can you be sure that your own sensors will be aligned with the cloud platform required to manage them all?

Being able to listen to your vending machines, machining equipment or rivers is just the start. The information passing into cloud apps allows you to perform the complex Business Intelligence or analytics that really add the value. But without some form of certification or alignment, IoT is likely to usher in an untameable amount of complexity. This is where a modular approach to cloud could play an important role.

During the course of the meetings I’ve been having with those in manufacturing, the built environment and utilities, I’ve been talking to them about the potential from our new Cloud Service K5 platform. Something that has made people really sit up in these meetings is the fact that K5 comes with a dedicated IoT platform service. Instead of trying to shoe-horn IoT into a standardised cloud platform, it allows companies to introduce IoT their way but with the knowledge that these new devices are part of a bigger IT system.

I believe it has allowed these companies to start asking the types of strategic questions I highlighted earlier. They are looking at how they can grow market share by developing cloud services or IoT platforms that add value to their customers. They are looking at how analytics from formerly one-way transactions can allow for more personalised relationships with customers. And they are looking at how their vending (or other) machines can help them operate more efficiently.

Mark Phillips
Director de Hybrid IT para EMEIA

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