In the shift from an industrial economy to a digital economy, businesses and countries alike are 12 Sep 2012 --- Handsome, African American man using pc tablet in coffee shop. --- Image by © Hero Images/Corbistargeting the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as a means to power faster business growth and deeper expansion. According to a recent Accenture study, nearly two-thirds of executives agreed that the IIoT would enable emerging markets to leapfrog developed economies. And joining the chorus of business leaders are political leaders and policy makers, placing their bets on the IIoT to uplift their country into a new era of competitiveness.

Why? Because $14.2 trillion is expected to be up for grabs by 2030 – all thanks to the IIoT.

However, the impact of the IIoT (or even the IoT, for that matter) is not solely about economics and GDP. It also delivers greater productivity, new market opportunities, better quality of life, and accelerated innovation cycles.

The IIoT is more than just robots and automation

When most people think of any form of the IoT, consumer applications typically come to mind. Who can blame them? Nest. Fitbit. Apple Watch. Google driverless car. The list goes on and on.

Nevertheless, no matter how automated processes become or how many robots assume repetitive and often hazardous tasks, there will always be work for humankind. In fact, Accenture discovered that 87% of executive foresee long-term job growth in this new environment. The only difference is how we approach our job responsibilities.

With all of this technology, people have more information than ever before. As a result, collective knowledge brings the power to be more outcome-centric. The emergence of this new focus is redefining industry boundaries and relationships. All the while, it is creating a new wave of winners and losers in the marketplace. To deliver on the promise of connected ecosystems and platforms, businesses need data that is easily aggregated and used to create new value-add services.

Consider your healthcare provider, for example. Sensors can now be implanted in pharmaceuticals to detect whether patients are taking their medicated as directed. At the same time, doctors can track whether the medication is achieving the intended effects needed to improve the patient’s health. In the end, the expected outcome of the customer (the patient) and the vendor offering (the medication) are monitored. This is the real value of the IoT – outcomes-centric focus on both the role of the customer and vendor.

5 opportunities that bring value to your business and customers with the IIoT

What does this all mean for your business? The opportunity to create new, service-based streams of revenue. However, if you are like most executives (73% to be exact), a transformation has yet to happen to support this new strategy.

In a recent Americas’ SAP Users Group Webcast, “IoT: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT): From Vision to Value,” Anil Parekh, Consulting – Resources Industries for Accenture, and Wallid Negm, Global Lead IIoT R&D for Accenture Technology Labs, offered five ideas on how businesses can take advantage of the IIoT today.

  1. Reimagine industry models. If every product is connected and enables a new service, Reinvent industry practices and business models to connect every product and enable new services that add value to the customer experience.
  1. Generate a chain reaction across industries. Create new ecosystems that cut across all traditional industry boundaries and bring value through change. Look for the opportunity to develop hybrid offerings that deliver compatible, seamless, value-add combinations of products and services.
  1. Capitalize on the value of data. Don’t just generate insightful data from physical objects. Share it between among every part of the supply chain and the cross-industry community.
  1. Prepare for the future of work. Embrace change, especially in the skill and job mix required in the workforce of the future. Understand how increasing reliance on smart products, sensors, and robotics transforms job roles, work responsibilities, and operations.
  1. Shorten the investment lag. Turn your IIoT ideas and strategy into reality. Encourage experimental, pilot, and demonstration projects that show how the IIoT can best complement your offerings, business strategy, workforce, and customer experience.

Start making the Internet of Things a reality for your business

Watch the entire Webcast series “Internet of Things (IoT) Community Webcast Series” presented by ASUG and SAP.