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Friday, September 8, 2017

3 Non-Industrial Ways the IoT Will Impact Your Industrial Company

The IoT and smart machines are going to change 'the way we do business' in the industrial world.

When you read this statement, production and warehouse areas usually come to mind. So that's the only part of your business the IoT will affect. Right?

Nope.

Successful businesses necessarily have all their component parts (more or less) integrated: sales, marketing, engineering, production, etc. So why would the IoT not impact them all? Here are three suggestions for aspects of your business outside of production as the world increases its use of IoT technology:

1. Marketing.
In his article 6 Predictions for How IoT Tech Will Affect Online Marketing and SEO, Forbes contributor and founder/CEO of AudienceBloom Jayson DeMers discusses a number of ways marketing will have to accommodate IoT trends. Our company has always relied on his #5 point, personalization. If you are a smaller company like ours, be prepared to do this to an extreme. It will set you apart from the big companies who are able to afford IBM Watson technology and the like, and  as human-to-human contact becomes increasingly rare from these giants, it is the thing we value most and by which our customers remember us.

2. A different kind of innovation.
Let's face it; legacy industrial equipment is here for a long time; after all, it was purchased so it would last as long as possible. And how much time do you and your engineers spend keeping those puppies functioning? We see this necessity in our customers' factories, and we see it in our own.

But these 'dumb' machines are not dumb. They are the result of decades of innovative engineering and many of our ancestor engineers were quite intelligent. Do not underestimate the 4-20mA signal! In the next year Absolute Process Instrument's bluetooth-enabled conversion devices will be helping to network those old workhorses into one smooth, modern, IoT-enabled 21st century machine.

3. Time for Contemplation.
The world moves very, very fast and the IoT is just going to propel it to go faster. How can we think smarter to keep up? The industries of Oil & Gas, Medical & Pharma, Mining, and even Agriculture can benefit from thinking smart about our above-mentioned 'dumb' machines.

Engineers always amaze me with their abilities to flip a problem on its side and come up with a sustainable, workable solution, and it is important to recall this requires a bit of time and breathing time. A few of our engineers call this "windshield time." Integrating IoT solutions into older equipment is a way for young engineers to shine, and for older engineers to prove their worth to upper management. Save the company a few million by using an IoT device to keep an old piece of gear running? Yes, that can count for a lot, so take a few minutes each day to contemplate and stay one step ahead of that IoT train.