As more devices get digitally connected, the question facing most businesses has changed from “Is IoT for real?” to “What’s the fastest, most effective path to rapidly create business value using industrial innovation?” To which I always reply: “Think big, start small, scale fast.”
Think big: define a bold ambition, based on a deep understanding of how your organization creates, delivers, and captures value. Look for opportunities that go beyond incremental change—the opportunity to rethink your business and operating models to deliver breakthrough value. Then prioritize opportunities around value, results assurance, and ease of implementation
Start small: pick one production line or one factory and target the most promising opportunity areas. The power of the IoT resides in harnessing its incredible potential in solving real problems and, in so doing, creating real business value. IoT building blocks, including sensor technology, machine learning, and big data analytics create value opportunities throughout the end-to-end digital supply network in sourcing, creating, distributing, and servicing a product. Asset monitoring and predictive maintenance—when used strategically—can help solve some of the most nettlesome challenges that organizations face today.
Today, no company needs to build their own IoT solution from scratch, nor should they. Adopting a pre-configured IoT framework and technology bundle, such as Deloitte’s turnkey IoT accelerators, offers quick, easy setup and data analysis; edge data acquisition and analytics; accelerated business results from analyzed data; global distribution, services, and scalability; and, eight-to-12-week proof-of-concept. These turnkey IoT solutions are pretested, fully integrated, and have been shown in production to lower risk and shorten the path to value from months to weeks. Preconfigured accelerators can mean value even as you start small.
Scale fast: another reason to start with a pre-configured solution is scalability. As soon as you are deriving value from your pilot installation, you can multiply that value by expanding your turnkey solution, tweaking it for each operation in your enterprise. Easily go from one production line in one plant to multiple lines in the same plant to eventual expansion across multiple plants.
Here’s a real-world example: A manufacturer of heavy equipment was facing mounting pressure from a hyper-competitive market and looking for ways to increase market share, efficiency, product quality, and customer satisfaction. One of the biggest issues was its ‘hidden factory’, where inventory lived and moved, but couldn’t be tracked and monitored in real-time. A turnkey solution with advanced sensors was deployed to “light up” the inventory and make it visible throughout the network. With this solution, the manufacturer was able to improve quality, increase productivity, and generate more efficient use of capital and resource allocation. The initial project focused on one plant, but is easily replicated at multiple additional plants.
Or there’s the experience of a U.S. food service manufacturer who wanted to improve business performance in their plant by utilizing IoT technologies. The plant’s assets already had sensors, but the data was not stored nor easily accessible. They were unable to monitor operations in real-time and did not have a way to access historical data. Applying Deloitte’s turnkey IoT solution capabilities enabled data-streaming architecture, analytics, and sensor placements that provided insights to help track machine performance along production lines, and ultimately created a pilot program that can now be scaled across all the manufacturer’s facilities.
Returning to my original question: “What’s the fastest, most effective path to rapidly create business value using industrial innovation?” Digital supply networks enabled by IoT technologies provide paths to pairing existing assets and systems with pre-configured accelerators making capabilities such as predictive maintenance, asset performance management (APM), and asset tracking possible. These turnkey systems can help unlock transformative business value.
 Deloitte Consulting LLP client projects