Jul 10, 2018

Katherine Lazarevich

digital transformation

Big Data, IoT

IoT and Big Data in the Core of a Digital Transformation Strategy

Digital innovation is important for 99% of executives, according to a Jabil survey from the beginning of 2018. Companies are ready to aggressively invest into digital transformation strategies and change their technology infrastructure and ecosystems in line with the demands of the modern economy.

Leadership teams are betting on different technologies and the volume of change depending on their goals, customers, market standing, capabilities and competition environment.

Many companies build their transformation models around a newly discovered or acquired asset – big data. Until recently, businesses in different verticals have been sitting on massive amounts of valuable data and haven’t really known what to do with this treasure. Nowadays, developing IoT, data services and analytics help companies transform their business.

This is the case for brands such as UPS, Nokia, and even the Empire State Building. These three entities put the power of IoT and big data into the core of their digital transformation strategies and reached tremendous results measured in millions of dollars. Here’s how.

What happens when IoT and big data get in the core of a company’s digital transformation strategy?

The Empire State Building started its transformation journey as an iconic place of attraction. Today, it’s a high-tech intelligent building that earns LEED Gold sustainability award and makes millions of dollars in power consumption savings.

Almost 10 years ago, the Empire State Building, in cooperation with Jones Lang LaSalle, Johnson Controls and Rocky Mountain Institute, launched the initiative to drastically reduce energy use and improve the efficiency of its operations. This retrofit project had a definite goal – to cut down on the power consumption by 38% and achieve at least $4.4 million in yearly savings.

Apart from smaller infrastructural improvements, the team put a complex IoT solution into the heart of this digital transformation strategy. In this course, the building was equipped with sensor-based environment monitoring and digital control able to manage every system on sight from air-conditioning to lighting.

Today, this intelligent solution collects streaming data to see what’s happening at a given moment. In the meantime, data analytics allow for the optimization of power consumption and the building’s overall efficiency, quickly tuning the environment conditions according to the current needs and keep it stable with minimum energy waste.

The Empire State Building created a long-term digital transformation strategy and put data analytics, telemetry and building management systems in the center of it. As a result, the joint team managed to outrun original goals in the first 5 years and save even more millions than expected.

Read: Pros of data visualization

Successful digital transformation at UPS is another great example of how connected technology and data analytics can enhance the efficiency of a well-established enterprise. This year, the company’s CIO Juan Perez, presented this impressive and inspiring business case at IoT World, and for a good reason.

The global package delivery leader chose IoT-enabled technology to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The company literally connected every subject at the process of delivery – trucks, drivers’ handheld devices, bulkheads and every single package. This overall sensor monitoring and control allows for the optimization of driving routes and reduces accidents, breakdowns, and package losses.

Today, the company saves up to $400 million per year. However, UPS doesn’t plan to stop and continues integrating new IoT solutions throughout its operations.

“We’re working on a number of projects to bring sensors to everything… We believe data and IoT will continue to improve our business in ways that we haven’t even dreamed of.” – Juan Perez at IoT World

Probably, the most vivid example of successful strategizing and implementation comes from none other that a 150-year old technology company. Nokia, widely known as a former mobile phone producer, today is back to the consumer market with a new digital strategy on course. Their strategy is built on strong IoT and big data solutions.

These days, the company focuses on digital healthcare for the elder demographics. Nokia believes that user-friendly wearables like sensor-powered watches and in-house trackers will enable independent living for the aging population and ensure peace of mind for their loved ones and caregivers.

Moreover, the company teamed with IBM Watson to improve the intelligence behind their digital health systems. Relying on advanced data analytics and Watson IoT insights, Nokia enriches its connected eHealth space with vitally important functionality.

For example, pattern recognition based on the compilation of tracking data allows the company to better understand the behavior and needs of elders. What's more, real-time data analytics can spot changes in their physical condition coming from wearables and alarm doctors or caregivers. In this case, the value of the digital transformation strategy goes way beyond the millions of saved dollars and can be measured in saved lives.

The key speakers at IoT World in Santa Clara unanimously talked about the importance of innovation in the future of industries and economies. They answered the question 'how does IoT contribute to big data?' and showed connected technology and big data as the means for the companies to rebuild themselves, reinvent their business strategies and enhance their competitive advantages. I believe the strategies behind the Empire State Building, UPS and Nokia demonstrate how exactly this transformation works and what results it can bring to the bottom line.

Are you looking for a skilled team to build custom IoT software solutions and integrate connected technologies into your operations? Let's talk!

This post was originally published at IoT for All.