The Big Discussion: The Internet of Things (part four)

Aug 05, 2017 • FeaturesFuture of FIeld ServiceMark BrewerMark HomerPaul WhitelamClickSoftwareIFSIoTservicemaxThe Big Discussion

In the Big Discussion we take one topic, bring together three leading experts on that topic and put four key questions to them across four weeks to help us better understand its potential impact on the field service sector...

This time around we turn to a brand new topic which is the Internet of Things and our experts are Paul Whitelam, ClickSoftware, Mark Homer, ServiceMax from GE Digital and Mark Brewer, IFS...

The first question of this topic was "Just how big is the potential impact of IoT on Field Service?"  whilst the second answered was "Is IoT now making the shift from early adoption to mass adoption amongst field service companies?" and last week the questions was "What are the challenges of implementing an IoT strategy within field service operation?

And now the final question on this topic



Question Four: Are field service companies who are not adopting IoT at risk of becoming non- competitive?

Paul Whitelam

The urgency around IoT adoption varies from one vertical industry to the next, but the cost of service delivery and need for greater visibility are universal concerns. The old business adage “you manage what you measure” certainly applies.

If your competitors have a level of insight that enables them to increase the number of jobs per technician per day or reduce critical failures by 90% thanks to preventative measure, the business benefits are powerful and quantifiable.

Increased efficiency and productivity, and slashing the cost of missed SLA penalties, that has direct impact on customer satisfaction and profitability. IoT can deliver exactly these types of insights and business outcomes, and only service organisations that invest in IoT capabilities will reap these rewards.



Mark Homer


In a word, yes. This is much more than just a ‘nice to have’ scenario. In most industries, margins are too thin and competition is too fierce to simply guesstimate how much capacity a piece of equipment can cope with, and it seems positively archaic to run a reactive break/fix service mentality in today’s connected age.

Industrial downtime is no joke. Unplanned downtime in just about every industry has a significant impact.

The Aberdeen Group last year reported that the cost of downtime across industries went up to $260,000 per hour on average between 2014 and 2016. That’s a huge jump with a considerable hit on any business.

On top of that, most companies don’t know how best to optimise uptime availability in different conditions, such as managing volatility, meeting peak demand or managing performance in extreme conditions. If your competitors are addressing this problem and you’re not, you’re surrendering market share. Digital disruption is set to wipe out 40% of the Fortune 500 companies in the next 10 years and the Industrial Internet will play a big part in that disruption, as well as the survival and success of companies.

The question isn’t why would you, but rather why wouldn’t you?





The potential gains in cost efficiency and improved service offerings are tremendous. IoT has the potential to disrupt entire industries. Organisations that aren’t educating themselves on the potential, road mapping an IoT strategy, or structuring their organisation to be IoT-ready may not see the risk now but they will definitely be laggards in 5-10 years.

IDC predicts that the installed base of IoT endpoints will grow to more than 30 billion by the end of the decade from just less than 13 billion units in 2015.

As a consequence, machine-generated data will comprise an increasing share of stored data: by 2020, 10 percent of the 44 zettabyte digital universe will originate from IoT devices.

In five years, there will be seven times more IoT data than there is today.



Look out of the next topic in our Big Discussion series coming soon... 



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