Against all odds: The IoT boom of 2020

IoT is creating a global web of connections

Over twenty billion smart devices are predicted to connect to the internet this year. We explore the recent IoT boom, perhaps the greatest success story of 2020.

An overwhelming consensus

Big data is a powerful and essential tool for modern businesses yet, quantity alone does not guarantee value. It is the combination of accurate and consistent monitoring which allows this data to be used effectively.

Organisations dealing with lockdown restrictions this year have relied more than ever on remote access and data capture to maintain operations. The 2020 Microsoft IoT Signals Report surveyed 3,000 IoT decision-makers globally. 90% of business leaders surveyed now view the IoT as ‘critical to their success’.

Since IoT and AI are so closely linked, applications are limited only by the imagination of human engineers. As the technology evolves, it is difficult to imagine a commercial sector it will not interact with. 95% of commercial organisations anticipate their IoT engagement will either remain stable or grow by 2022.

Delivering the future

UK businesses have expressed major concerns over the havoc a no-deal Brexit could wreak on supply chains into the UK. Domestic manufacturing is no longer the powerhouse it once was. As a result, shortages of medicine, food, and machine parts could become widespread post-brexit.

Fortunately, many within the trucking industry believe that the IoT boom could revolutionise the way they work. While automated cars like Tesla have dominated headlines, a new generation of freight transport has been quietly waiting to take centre stage.

65% of transport leaders now believe that IoT empowered technologies like autonomous loading, unloading and self-driven trucks can improve efficiency and their bottom line. In an age of increasing just-in-time deliveries, incorporating robotic loading equipment alongside human workers can help shave precious seconds off delivery times.

Autonomous vehicles already outperform humans in sheer safety, as Tesla’s prototype has demonstrated. The economic translation of this to large-scale shipping, in terms of insurance premiums, repairs, and cargo security is obvious.

The breathing room afforded by these advances could go some way to balancing out the logistical challenges of a no-deal. As a result, it’s clear why 90% of trucking business owners are ready to put their faith in IoT technology.

IoT is creating a global web of connections

IoT breaks into industrial manufacturing

Industrial manufacturing has always had great potential for IoT integration. Unfortunately, such synergy was hobbled by legacy equipment that was difficult to marry with digital technology.

However, thanks to recent advances in MES (Manufacturing Execution Systems), IoT has now exploded in the industrial sector.

The use of IoT sensor networks means that manufacturers can now accurately track the energy consumption patterns of their machinery. Automated machinery multiplies the value of such data, since engineers can program it to operate during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lowest.

On the subject of automation, the number of collaborative robots populating warehouses and production lines is also increasing. Unlike the construction arms we may envision, these devices are small and agile and subsequently safe for human engagement. As a result, they significantly increase productivity at marginal added cost to facilities managers.

The commercial picture

Unlike many sectors, the coronavirus pandemic has seen IoT boom rather than bust when it comes to commercial applications. The Vodafone IoT Spotlight report shows that 67% of businesses surveyed are accelerating their IoT adoption plans in response to the pandemic.

Vodafone themselves are not exempt from this trend either, just this year they have completed a massive IoT integration project. By optimising heating, cooling, and airflow in 90 sites they have secured savings of £10 million and a CO2 emissions reduction of 25,000 tonnes.

Heating, cooling, and lighting are among the highest costs that any site manager faces, that’s why the t-mac platform engages directly with all three. The control our platform provides, allows site managers to monitor, manage, and assess their consumption patterns. Empowering them to leverage off-peak electricity prices to make huge savings.

One client made a 15% saving on their lighting bills in the first year using these exact steps. Another used the t-mac platform to track and control AC usage, making savings of over £100,000 in the first 4 months of its installation.

If you want to empower your organisation using a simple, easy to use IoT platform, get in touch.

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