IoT Data – Rocketfuel for Disruption

At MWC 2017, I spent time talking with HVAC and Facilities Management execs about what the IoT will mean for manufacturers, FM companies and asset owners. It was clear that with the proliferation of new data, discontinuous and disruptive change was in the air.

Sensor data and IoT tools are beginning to empower FM companies to demand more of HVAC suppliers. The collection and aggregation of practical data generated in real-world environments is proving invaluable to optimising asset management and consequently product and implementation design.

While everybody expected that to be the case as these new streams of data became available through IoT analytics platforms, what was perhaps less expected was the opportunity for new business models in the way traditional products and services were bought.

By sharing data up and down the supply chain, manufacturers, facilities managers and sub contractors are able to work together to optimise not just services but also business models to best suit their needs.

One example is switching FM customers from buying equipment from HVAC manufacturers to buying cubic metres of cooled air or even hours of stable temperature environments inside their spaces. The proliferation of sensors inside the physical equipment, around the envelope of the built environment and externally in the environment (temperature, air quality, moisture etc.) means there is sufficient data to design services around outcome provision, rather than product provision.

By shifting intelligence around provision to software platforms and utilising the data from thousands of installations to benefit each one, it is possible to not only predict maintenance and utility costs much more accurately but also optimise installations over time. This makes different service models possible.

The subscription economy shift from products to services is already underway in the rest of our lives – when did you last buy a CD? IoT data looks set to be the catalyst to usher in similar disruption across many different industrial sectors.

With greater pressure to reduce the total cost of ownership for asset owners and conversely improve tender pricing accuracy for FM companies, IoT data will not only be a key way for these two demands to be met but will likely to launch a thousand new, innovative business models too.

IoT will define not just what we buy, but how we buy it.


Image Credit: Copyright © 2017, Environmental Working Group. All rights reserved.

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