The Internet of things (stylized Internet of Things or IoT) is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items which are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. In 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) defined the IoT as “the infrastructure of the information society. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit in addition to reduced human intervention. When IoT is augmented with sensors and actuators, the technology becomes an instance of the more general class of cyber-physical systems, which also encompasses technologies such as smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.
SAP offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT). This in-memory IoT platform can help quickly develop, deploy, and manage real-time IoT and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. The IOT platform can be used to automate processes at the core and connect to almost anything at the edge of an enterprises’ network.
- Harness the core capabilities of SAP HANA – such as geo-spatial processing, series data, and location services
- Manage and monitor remote devices while gathering real-time insights
- Create next-generation, real-time, machine-to-machine and IoT applications
- Develop IoT solutions for various line-of-business and industry use cases
The transforming qualities of IoT related to business models and process is so important that it will be one of the biggest growth factors for companies in the coming years. Countless studies and different figures predicting its impact on the economy and market growth back up the expectations SAP has set up together with the Boston Consulting Group. SAP believes that the IoT market will grow to a value of several hundred billion within just a few years. From an economic point of view, this serves as enough justification for the $2.2 Billion investment SAP has planned for the Internet of Things.
Areas that would benefit the most from IOT
The greatest impact of IOT will be seen in Manufacturing and Logistics. Being able to pinpoint the location, condition, and characteristics of any product, machine, and means of transport at any given point in time will radically change business processes. There will be a “digital twin” to every physical product, which replicates the life cycle of the actual product in digital form and constantly updates the product status, allowing us to draw conclusions on its usage in real time. This is very important for quality assurance, as defects can be detected much earlier than they are now. This also allows developers to rectify reoccurring defects and manufacturers to simplify and accelerate their processes.
Predictive maintenance has already become so common that it is considered the norm in today’s manufacturing scenarios. In the future, systems will be able to “learn” without human input through machine learning. The accumulated information is transferred to an asset management system that collects the lifecycle data of the machines and devices in a network. These developments will change business models to the core. Today, customers already pay according to how many flight hours an engine runs (“Power by the hour”) and companies produce customized products (“Manufacturing as a Service”). They offer services in place of machines. In Logistics, keeping track of the products (“Track & Trace) is rapidly gaining importance, while RFID chips are used more and more in production, factory, and transportation. The transportation chain is also becoming more transparent.
Autonomous systems such as robotics are taking over new tasks and interacting directly with business systems in storage, logistics, and production. The IoT and autonomous systems can relieve and support the human task force significantly.
SAP takes a deep dive into the Internet of Things with these three powerful offerings, namely,
- Asset Intelligence Network
- Autonomous Systems in Production and Logistics
- Digital Twin