Field Service News Editor-in-Chief Kris Oldland looks looks at why the Internet of Things will soon evolve into the Industrial Internet and why it will have a huge impact on the way we face field service operations in the very near future...
It was only fairly recently that I first came across the phrase Industrial Internet...
If I’m a hundred percent honest I didn’t really know what it meant and had to have it explained to me. For those who like me hadn’t stumbled across this phrase before it’s basically a new name for the Internet of Things.
Or more specifically the application of IoT in a business driven environment, as opposed to the consumer world of smart home that IoT has now become synonymous with. Given that whilst utilising the same technology the discussions around IoT enabled Smart Homes is going to be very different to those around the application of IoT in industry then I guess it makes sense.
It’s probably also a sign that IoT is growing up. The first examples of IoT I came across were all predominantly novelty stuff. I remember being at a technology and marketing conference a few years ago and a company had a machine called Bubblinho on their stand. Basically it was the worlds first IoT based Bubble Blowing Machine.
I distinctly recall thinking at the time how it was all very clever if a little bit pointless.
Around the same time I remember reading about a man who created a device that could allow him to feed his dog a dog biscuit by tweeting. Again very clever, but if your going to be away from home so much that you need the Internet of Things to feed your poor pooch then your not exactly the world’s best Dog Owner are you?
Yet those who know me, or indeed read my column will know that I am a huge proponent of IoT when it comes to its application in field service. I genuinely think that it will be a game changer. Not only that but I think that IoT (along with Augmented Reality) will be the technology that truly reshapes the way field service companies operate forever.
In the not too distant future companies will look back at pre IoT workflows in wonderment at just how we got along. Much like we look back today and try to remember what we did before mobile phones became prevalent.
So for me if changing the name of IoT to Industrial Internet is a sign that IoT is starting to mature then so be it.
And the fact is that it definitely has matured, and is taking seed within the field service industry.
Without giving too much away the evidence is clear in our research report (page 29) this issue, which just so happens to be assessing the appetite for IoT in field service.
In the not too distant future companies will look back at pre IoT workflows in wonderment at just how we got along. Much like we look back today and try to remember what we did before mobile phones became prevalent
Throughout the three days of the conference there were vast numbers of presentations, round-tables and just general chat in the breakout sessions all centred on the capability of IoT to change the way we operate our field service divisions.
Yet according to Jonathan Massoud, Divisional Director & Market Analyst, with conference organisers WBR, this time last year folks were still just about getting their heads around the concept. (Read more here)
This year, it seems it is full steam ahead for a large number of companies, and those who aren’t currently implementing a IoT solution are on the whole starting to build their own IoT plans.
Of course one of the most exciting partnerships in this area at the moment is that of ServiceMax and PTC and between them I’m quietly confident that they can produce some fantastic IoT enabled FSM solutions.
In fact reference to IoT is peppered through this issue although not necessarily by design. Regular contributors Nick Frank of Frank Partners and Sumair Dutta of The Service Council both focus on IoT in their expert views this issue. It seems that everywhere we turn in our industry the Internet of Things is at the forefront of peoples minds.
The Age of The Industrial Internet is most definitely upon us and as with any change we must either embrace it or be left behind by those that do.