We live in a world where technology is moving exponentially faster by the day.

Ordering dinner, calling an Uber, and paying our bills through our smartphones is already  yesterday’s news. The next technology wave is the Internet of Things (IoT), and machine learning and artificial intelligence are the frontiers of IoT.

Manufacturers are leading this revolution, actively pursuing IoT initiatives for internal process efficiencies and business-model transformation by outfitting their products with smart sensors and connecting them to each other and to key systems and networks. That means that transactional-oriented relationships with customers are replaced with whole lifecycle engagement with their products.

Increasingly, the definition of a product is changing to include a broader customer-centric construct. These products are based on deeper data-driven user insights seamlessly collected and aggregated from the product sensors’ virtual reams of data.

For example, a leading packaging equipment and solutions company is moving towards a model that will  monetize IoT analytics data by directly addressing customer pain points. The company is using data and the insights gleaned from that data from products utilized at their customers’ locations to change how they engage with them.

IoT: Streamlining Production and Improving Productivity

Manufacturers have also ben applying  IoT to internal production and supply-chain efficiencies. For example, Harley Davidson slashed the time it takes to produce a customized motorcycle at its York, PA, facility from 21 days to six hours. It did so by streamlining the facility and equipping it with IoT sensors, robots, and location awareness.

Rio Tinto, the multi-national metals and mining company, increased productivity, improved the safety of its mine workers, and lowered mining costs by deploying fully automated trucks. These IoT-connected trucks operate in tandem with other trucks and machines, adjusting in real time to a mine’s changing layout as ore and waste gets removed.

With their proven efficiency and productivity gains, it’s no wonder that the demand for IoT devices is exploding. The IoT market is expected to reach $267 billion by 2020, according to the  Boston Consulting Group -- and manufacturing is expected to account for more than one-fourth of that market. Leading this wave of IoT adoption are manufacturers in oil, gas, and energy equipment and many in the customer sectors such as banking, retail and airlines.

Where to Start

So, how can your business begin to leverage the IoT? Join Cognizant at LiveWorx. Our team will be featuring the latest in the world of Connected Products and Smart Manufacturing. More info at cognizant.com/internet-of-things.

Dr. Phani Sistu Cognizant, Phanibhushan.Sistu@cognizant.com