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Internet of Things: An Innovation Enabler


Internet of Things is one of the most disruptive new technologies that has the potential to transform businesses and human lives. While a clear majority of use cases for IoT have been around its ability to drive operational improvements, is it time to think about the next level and how it can be used to deliver breakthrough innovations?

Let us take the example of an automobile. The predominant application of IoT by manufacturers is to monitor critical parts and pinpoint possible failures/incidents requiring maintenance. Or they monitor the usage on a day-to-day basis which can then be used to pinpoint potential changes in design to make the products better. These are point improvements to help improve the operational capability of the products. What if the same operational data is married with data on weather conditions? This might lead to fundamental breakthrough changes in product design. For example, parts of the automobile may perform well under normal weather conditions but experience breakdown in situations where multiple factors come into play like weather and altitude or weather and terrain conditions. We can consider other examples such as soil monitoring for agriculture where monitoring soil condition for moisture, nutrients etc. can be coupled with the overall weather condition to determine the nature of intervention (i.e. reducing or increasing water to crops).

The best example is probably the self-driving car pioneered by Google and followed by auto industry players like Ford. This is a breakthrough innovation encompassing a number of technologies such as Machine Learning in addition to IoT. Another good example pertains to the maintenance of roads -gathering the condition of roads and sending the data to the local municipalities to help fix pot holes or roads in deteriorated condition. This involves the use of IoT in conjunction with geo location technology; something that has never been done before. These success stories highlight how a convergence of technologies (the predominant technology being IoT) is helping deliver breakthrough innovation in products and services.


The availability of cheap computing power courtesy cloud service providers, the ability to gather accurate data from the source seamlessly and the availability of tools to transform this humungous data into actionable insights, provides the perfect ingredients to leverage IoT to deliver breakthrough improvements in products across many industries. This in turn has the power to herald the creation of products and services that customers had never imagined! So, manufacturers can actually create markets where none exist today and open customers’ minds to new possibilities, especially in the context of millennial customers. In the process, they will be seen as innovators; a tag that many industry players would love to wear on their chest.

Ness with its deep expertise in product engineering, data analytics and customer experience is helping clients extract more value out of their digital initiatives. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.