The Internet of Things has been a vision for decades, essentially since the advent of factory automation. However, until very recently, the reality of the value generated by the Industrial Internet vision has been elusive. Today, from the sophisticated sensors that can monitor physical equipment performance to the ability to measure overall business performance in real time paired with analytics tools that can analyze data quickly and integration tools that connect it all, driving real business value from the connected enterprise is a reality. Additionally, today’s cloud-based software and solutions provide even more unprecedented ways to collect and analyze data in real time that can be a source of competitive advantage. As a result, the spend on the Industrial Internet is projected to grow from $20 billion in 2012 to about $514 billion in 2020, and the value created is expected to grow from $23 billion to about $1.3 trillion in the same period.
While the idea of the Industrial Internet and connected enterprise do indeed present real business value potential to a company, it is more than just capturing more data. It is about capturing the right data and then leveraging that data to make decisions that will increase profitability, production efficiency, and market share. This can only be accomplished through a strategy that is aligned with and supports the business vision, an integration strategy, framework and tools (including mobile and cloud) that allow for the integration and communication of the various pieces, and the analytics strategy and tools (both predictive and prescriptive) to generate the business value that the influx of new, real time data can provide.