Unlocking value from the Internet of Things (IoT)

Analysts at Gartner have identified four fundamental usage models to help unlock value from the Internet of Things (IoT).

“As the Internet of Things grows rapidly, it is linking millions of assets, including devices, people and places, to deliver and share information, enhancing business value and competitive advantage, and creating new business opportunities,” explained Hung LeHong, VP and Gartner Fellow.

“In this early and emergent phase of development, entrepreneurs are experimenting across such a diverse range of sectors, applications, business models and technologies in their efforts to uncover value. This creates confusion and makes it difficult for others to easily identify the potential in their own geographies, industries and business sectors.”

Although the Internet of Things offers wide applicability across multiple spaces, some enterprises may be too quick to dismiss the value of the IoT in their companies because the examples of what others are doing don’t precisely match their own environments.

“A recycling company or vending machine operator, for example, may not find any applicability for the Internet of Things when reviewing how a hospital is connecting its patient-monitoring equipment to the Internet of Things. However, on closer inspection, these companies will discover that the reason the hospital has connected its equipment is to cut costs on nurses’ rounds to monitor patients,” said LeHong.

“Any company operating remote devices has opportunities to use this same model. Remote assets that require manual rounds for the purposes of emptying or replenishment, such as recycling bins or vending machines, can benefit from the same approach the hospital took. The underlying commonality is the business case to reduce the costs from doing the rounds by connecting assets to monitor status.”

Despite their diversity, Gartner analysts believe all current examples can be categorized into four basic usage scenarios: manage (e.g. multiple sensors reporting real-time streams of data), monetize (“pay as you drive” vehicle insurance), operate (regulating complex water supplies or irrigation systems) and extend (provision of advisory information such as imminent vehicular part failure).

“Although much of the spotlight today is on the Internet of Things, the true power and benefit of the Internet comes from combining things with people, places and information systems,” LeHong added. “This expanded and comprehensive view of the internet is what Gartner calls the Internet of Everything.”

Interested in learning more? You can access Gartner’s detailed IoT usage breakdown here. Readers may also want to check out two recent Bits & Pieces Atmel IoT articles: “Sullivan Says the IoT is Becoming a Reality” and “Making the Internet of Things a Reality.”

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