The internet of things (IoT) has become a symbol of future business opportunities. Proponents of the integrated series of objects, devices, and machines point to the infinite amount of opportunities available to businesses that embrace this innovation. But what role will the IoT play with your entire enterprise software system? So what does a future IoT enterprise look like?
As a small example of the opportunity, advocates of an IoT enterprise point towards a recent study conducted inside the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland which concluded that many of the average machines used in manufacturing today vary in production quality and pace by approximately 13%; depending on a large number of variables. Imagine if your machines could track this info and those variables, what could you do with it, and how could it help transform your business?
Hold your horses ... even if that machine could track the variance and it's many causes — along with thousands of other valuable metrics — how would you know? How would you draw these reports, where would you draw them from, and how would you take all of this data (with new info every second) and organize it in a helpful fashion? This is where IoT meets enterprise software. How these two powerful business drivers work together will determine the future success for a large number of organizations.
IoT meets enterprise software
Imagine a scene in which your entire business consisted of hundreds of smart objects and machines that all make up a robust internal IoT for your organization. This is pretty powerful stuff, and would allow your business to generate dynamic data that probably doesn't exist today. Data that could help you maximize labor hours, improve shipping, optimize billing, determine production failures, and ultimately eliminate all forms of waste. It's a smarter better organization.
This vision is the dream that IoT sells. It's sexy and allows you to imagine your business performing to optimal capacity; however the IoT is only the exterior of this vision. How the entire network of machines and devices connects to your enterprise software will be what truly determines who well this vision is executed. How well the software works with the IoT will define how the business benefits from both systems. Let us explain.
Software and IoT collaboration is the key to future success
The IoT inside of your businesses is responsible for a large amount of this new transformative data; however the data itself really can't help you. In fact, it only costs you money to have it. You have to store it and manage it somehow. That usually translates to cost. It's where that data goes and how it's used by your existing systems and people that really allow you to achieve a ROI on all of these forms of infrastructure.
Configuring this data to flow through an agent and be properly quarterbacked out to all of your separate enterprise software systems will be what allows you to view and understand this data in actionable ways. If you're a manufacturer, it probably is intuitive that you would want your IoT enterprise connected to your ERP system. This would provide enormous potential in eliminating waste in production, shipping, and human capital utilization. It makes since that the software tasked with enterprise resource planning be attached to many of the objects that is directly responsible for. However, there is tremendous service, marketing, and e-commerce potential as well for these businesses if certain data is shared with CRM, marketing automation, and e-commerce platforms as well. This includes a large range of possible benefits that are ultimately centered around using advanced data to uncover new opportunities and eliminate unnecessary spending.
The only thing missing from this layout at this juncture is business intelligence. To achieve quality reporting and information regarding all of this data, businesses will be able to use powerful BI solutions to accurately measure and evaluate this information from high-rise level view. This means that executives will be able to peer in to the interworkings of their business at a new holistic level that simply does not currently exist today. The ability to evaluate how devices work and how they influence exact processes, and how those processes result to costs and profits. It is the dream for a many manufacturers for a very good reason.
The IoT and it's data is a whole new layer to your business. By being able to access that data through your software, your business intelligence tools can provide a new level of reporting that could allow access to powerful waste-cutting actions. Executives will be able to go deeper, plan better, and act smarter than ever before.
A completely interconnected enterprise
As we've mentioned, the future of your potential IoT and enterprise software system will hinge upon the agent's ability and success delivering the right data to the right places. Once this occurs businesses will be able to accurately utilize this data using the right tools. What's more, businesses that opt to ensure all of their enterprise systems are connected as well will benefit to even a significantly larger degree.
On top of everything else mentioned, have all of your enterprise software connected and working together will supply even more detailed information than ever before. Businesses will be able to use business intelligence to look at the way IoT objects are effecting data inside of ERP and CRM together; providing businesses views that are a mirror image of reality.
This reality image reporting that can exist inside of future IoT enterprise systems could become a new gold standard in reporting and measurement. Imagine a simplified and intelligent way to really see how things operate, where problems exist, and where money is being left on the table. We expect to see the beginning of the bell curve of this way of thinking begin to appear as early as this year. It's an exciting time for manufacturers. Technology may just be poised to make the largest impact on the industry than it has in the last 50 years.
For more information about how we are helping businesses integrate their enterprise software and implement dynamic business intelligence systems focused on manufacturing contact our team today.