The Internet of Things is driving change in me, and in industry

Worldwide Industry Marketing Manager for Insurance, IBM

We certainly live in a connected world. It always amazes me when I see how smarter enterprises are using the highly interconnected, intelligent and instrumented qualities of today’s technology to make our world a better place: the way we interact changes, how we approach our day is different and what we expect is far higher than ever before. Driving this fantastic change is none other than the Internet of Things (IoT).

So how do these communicating devices “talking” to each other create value for all of us? 

In my car, I like having sensors that can alert me to a potential repair that can be avoided with a quick preventative maintenance stop at my car dealer. This saves me from the hassle of having to find alternative transportation arrangements if I am without my vehicle. Even better: what if my car sensor can notify the dealer and even set an appointment time, allowing the dealer to keep its maintenance department running smoothly? What a win for both me and the maintenance department!

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I also like that my washing machine’s sensor tells me (and the manufacturer) when my hose needs to be replaced. Then, the replacement can just show up at my home, right on time! Maybe my insurer sends the replacement—after all, this helps them to avoid a potential damage claim. The manufacturer also learns the lifetime of this part and it saves me the inconvenience of damage if the hose were to break.

And my phone (smarter than I!) can talk to my house and tell it to turn off lights, lock the doors and adjust the thermostat. I am contributing to energy efficiency and my “things” are talking to one another for security. 

Enough about me, though—let's think about how these chatty devices change our world:

  • A farmer could know the soil condition and moisture levels, optimizing yields by mixing in the right fertilizers at the time of planting. Maybe solving world hunger isn’t so far fetched? Agriculture manufacturers can know how to better build equipment to foster these higher yields. 
  • The oil and gas industry can use the Internet of Things to remove the risk of an oil spill before it becomes a threat. By continuously monitoring the sensors in rotating equipment the risk of a spill is reduced or completely removed, helping to  lower the risk of endangering our water supply and wildlife.
  • Did you know your physician can use the Internet of Things to help monitor your health and prevent serious medical issues? Wouldn’t you like to know if your medical devices can communiate with your doctor for early detection and prevention of ailments and disease? Why wait for that six month follow-up appointment?

The Internet of Things isn’t just about creating a bunch of “things” with sensors though—it’s about infusing a process with analytics, not just for insight but also for creating a system of action that you may not have even known was necessary. A better way of life, courtesy of the Internet of Things.

Come hear more about the Internet of Things and how it is changing the world at IBM Insight 2014. At Insight 2014, you will have the opportunity to learn from industries about how the Internet of Things is transforming their business models and creating new ways to optimize their operations and drive significant value.