The Evolution of the Internet of Things in Field Service

field service connected automation

As equipment manufacturers and field service professionals, you’ve been hearing about IoT for years now. Here are the future implications of smart, connected equipment and how you can leverage of the evolution of the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things has made quite a buzz the last few years, especially in the industrial realm. It was without a doubt the most talked about topic at the consumer electronics show in January. And over the last couple of years, IoT has made its mark as a leading technology guiding the future of field services.

This means that, for manufacturers, the product they make is no longer the most important or highest revenue opportunity in their business. “The manufacturer can now offer a package of connected equipment and related services that optimize overall results,” said a recent Harvard Business Review article, “How Smart, Connected Products are Transforming Competition.”

“There are many opportunities to add to existing telemetry to power continuous analytics at the individual component or system level,” VentureBeat wrote in their recent article, “IoT Mapped.”

In other words, IoT sensors allow manufacturers to monitor equipment at a granular level. They can see how systems are working together, or whether an individual component on a generator is working correctly. By using this information to guide business decisions, manufacturers become more knowledgeable while making their customers more efficient.

Looking back at IoT’s early beginnings to its future in the field service industry, this article explores the coming deluge of data from smart, connected equipment in the field and how service firms can get ahead with the right technology and data intelligence.

How the IoT Makes Field Service Proactive

Perhaps the biggest benefit manufacturers gain from IoT sensors is the ability to make service programs proactive rather than reactive.

As we enter an age where customers demand more from their equipment and the service they receive, manufacturers are discovering the importance of gaining loyal customers and achieving ongoing service revenue by leveraging the power of smart, connected equipment.

Watch the video for an illustration of how the IoT informs proactive service arrangements.


The Evolution of the IoT in Field Service – The Tsunami of Information

As more and more field service things become smart, service firms will need a place to capture, organize, and make actionable the key data their machines produce. Anybody can gather data – sensors are cheap – it’s what you do with the data that matters.

With solutions that make sense of incoming machine intelligence and spit out actionable feedback, manufacturers can produce better products and provide more informed, proactive service to customers.

In their guide “The Rise of Systems Intelligence,” Salesforce calls this influx of data the tsunami of information. “Enterprises will need to figure out how to not only capture this data, but how to search, analyze, and visualize it…The ultimate goal is the ability to perform predictive analytics and real-time intelligent decision making….This is going to require an IT transformation from systems of record to systems of intelligence.”

Salesforce outlines the progression technologies like the IoT will take in the industrial service realm.

evolution of iot in field service

    1. Starting with mobile apps and connected products, service organizations will streamline the service process and eliminate paper.

    2. The next stage includes the collection of data streaming from machines so service orgs can gain insight into field asset performance and other vital information.

    3. From there, solutions will get more sophisticated. IoT data will inform key performance indicators and guide businesses’ ability to make real-time, intelligent decisions.

    4. Eventually, the IoT will transform industrial business models, forcing companies to create new revenue sources and use predictive intelligence to turn product support into a major revenue stream.

Conclusion: IoT is Just Getting Started for Industrial Equipment Businesses

The IoT will only grow in terms of functionality and popularity among industrial equipment businesses. According to a recent Accenture guide, “Driving Unconventional Growth through the Industrial Internet of Things,” here are some of the future trends industrial businesses will see in the coming years:

    • Initiate tasks and communicate with other equipment.

    • Tailor their user interfaces, recommendations and movements to meet customer preferences.

    • Strengthen their features—and thus the benefits they provide customers—through software improvements.

    • Learn how to lower their operating costs.

    • Optimize their yield and productivity.

    • Prevent accidents and failures during operation.

    • Take action in uncertain or adverse conditions.

The IoT is the next frontier in product support. Will you have the tools at your disposal to meet tomorrow’s service demands?

Free Guide: How the Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Field Service

The future of field service will be defined by IoT. Learn how it will impact industrial service businesses, how to prepare your team for the shift, and examples of companies already taking advantage of the possibilities the IoT has to offer.

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How the Internet of Things is Revolutionizing Field Service