To keep up with the competition, businesses must bring themselves up to date with modern technologies. Some however, are taking it a step further and using a number of technologies in tandem with others, to establish a stronger force. One example of this is the holy tech trinity – formed of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data – and it is quickly becoming the combination surpassing all others.
Over the last decade, together they have made significant impact across a countless number of industries, empowering the exponential boom of insight, innovation and evolution framing modern business.
Yet, it is startling to note that many businesses are only skimming the surface when it comes to understanding what this tech trinity can offer. This is partly due to the risky presumptive mindset that certain technologies are starting to overtake and undermine the human ability, and ultimately replace the traditional worker. This is causing them to become rather ignorant of the true capabilities that IoT, Big Data and AI can bring. There is no time like the present, so as a modern business, it’s time to delve deeper into what the tech trinity can do for your future growth.
IoT, the global network of connected devices is the quintessence of an IT ecosystem. Ranging from household devices to industry machines and buildings, it’s open to every and any application. The ‘dumb’ sensors integrated into these smart devices collect and exchange copious amounts of data from every single connected device.
The abundant amounts of data gathered through the IoT every day is referred to as Big Data and it is exploding at an unprecedented rate. More data has been created in the past 4 years than in the entire previous history of the human race. In 2020, the accumulated digital universe of data will stand at 44 trillion gigabytes, with a third of all data passing through the cloud; it’s no surprise companies who are still relying on outdated systems are struggling to keep up.
The final technology of this trinity is AI, also referred to as deep machine learning. These algorithms learn and store data sets from repetitive analysis and from this continuous analysis, can identify trends based on the data. Ultimately, the more data fed through the network, the more the algorithms can build upon the data to then ‘learn’ to autonomously maintain its own database.
As these machines learn by mimicking the human brain, their ultimate goal will be to predict trends and insights without any human interaction. Many businesses are reluctant to integrate AI into their business models because of a fear they will replace humans. However, it must be remembered that the positives hugely outweigh the negatives when it comes to improving business models and while AI is developing at an unprecedented rate, the ability to eliminate any sort of human interaction is still quite far off.
The Future Is Now
Integrating AI into IoT networks is quickly becoming a prerequisite in modern business, so companies must move rapidly to identify how they can integrate these technologies into their systems and understand the values that they can provide in the long run.
The fusion of IoT, Big Data and AI is giving businesses the potential for insight at an unprecedented level. The amalgamation of vast data sets, coming from a number of devices across nearly every industry, can now be analysed in near on real time, logging existing trends whilst also predicting future ones. This mutually beneficial relationship is providing business leaders with a newfound ability to make educated, fact based decisions that would have previously been based on a gut feeling, avoiding irrational decisions, and saving huge sums of money.
In manufacturing industries, moving away from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance is doing wonders when it comes to preventing costly downtime. For some industries, it can cost up to £18,000 for every minute a machine is down. However, when you have connected sensors embedded onto the machines, businesses can track trends and anticipate when a machine is going to fault.
One step further, taking advantage of the data collected from the machines, the central software system will be able to call out the correct engineer, saving time and money for both parties. This is thanks to its repetitive analysis of understanding why something goes wrong and how to fix it. Studies have shown that over a third (38%) of organisations can save more than 30 minutes a day, per engineer with a simple change in process – saving companies approximately £525,000 per year.
Further to this, airlines are also benefitting from IoT, Big Data and AI working together as the ultimate tech trinity. Sensors on an aircraft can now continuously monitor the status of a variety of systems and sub-systems. For example, today a GE jet engine amasses 500Gb of data per flight, taking 5000 snapshots per second of altitude, cooling, exhaust gas temperature and ground speed, to name a few. When compared to previous technologies, these same jet engines were only generating 1kb of data from three snapshots of take off, cruising and landing. From this, GE were able to boost performance by 287 times, and deliver a seven-fold reduction in cost whilst at the same time reducing downtime and increasing safety.
As IoT, Big Data and AI continue to dramatically disrupt and reshape the business landscape, it is no surprise that many are struggling to comprehend it. However, executives can no longer avoid, or passively wait, for this new wave of disruption to hit, if they do they risk getting swept away. Instead, they must proactively begin to understand and adopt the tech trinity ecosystem in order to reap the benefits of enhanced security, customer experience, higher revenues and the tremendous advantage in pursuing new and exciting business opportunities.