Is your IT department up to speed on IoT?
As we all know, the Internet is a connected web of devices, such as computers and servers, which exchange information in order to deliver content. The Internet of Things, or IoT, can be thought of as the Internet being taken out of an enclosed architecture.
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IoT can bring together communication channels between a smartphone, a laptop, a desktop, and then Internet-connected devices in the home or office, such as refrigerators, heating and cooling units, copiers and printers, and even watches.
What IoT means for IT
Some expect that the introduction of IoT will require IT specialists to begin thinking about how Internet-connected devices will function almost as if they were artificial intelligence.
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Now, this isn't AI in the strictest sense, which is where a machine can learn and adapt on its own, but it is AI in the sense that programming, monitoring and maintenance of systems will need to have components of AI built in.
Let's use the case in which someone has their business lighting system connected to the IoT: Each weekday, employees arrive at 9:00am for work however this is not the case on weekends. As such, IT team members need to program the lighting system to automatically turn on during working hours.....but what if a weather emergency permits this?
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Well, programming, maintenance and learning now need to factor in local weather emergency management systems to decide whether or not lighting needs to be turned on when no one is coming in due to severe weather.
How IoT affects consumers and businesses
The article 6 things IT needs to know about the IoT mentions that IoT devices need to sell in order to be beneficial to IT professionals who program and monitor said devices, but if these devices are not appealing to the consumer, then they do a disservice through wasted programming time.
An example of this, in recent times, is the Apple Watch, at least in its original iteration.
Let's say you're an IT professional, and upon rumors of the Apple Watch and its dev kit release, you and your coworkers begin to work on a project that allows the Watch to interact with a number of home security systems, business copiers and other IoT devices.
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Well, the Watch had not performed well because the consumer has decided it doesn't care or have a need. Now you've wasted time and resources that could have been focused elsewhere.
Before you focus on an IoT project, make sure it will provide a good ROI for all involved, including the consumer.
About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include Internet technology and futurology.
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Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.