The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that is now perceived to be the most transformative force in the energy industry since petroleum. According to Ericsson, the global number of devices being managed by utility companies is estimated to grow from 485 million in 2013 to 1.53 billion in 2020.
The ever-increasing challenge for Utility companies is that they are supplying power/ water/ gas into an ever more tech aware population, there is an expectation of ‘Things’ being connected, how long before ‘why isn’t it connected’ becomes the normal question.
When faced with an ever-aging infrastructure that was never designed for the demands of modern living, The Utility companies have both a challenge and an opportunity.
This is driving a wave of innovation in an otherwise conservative industry.
Devices such as HIVE and Smart Meters are the in-home visible tip of an Industry Iceberg.
IoT at its simplest being able to connect to and remotely monitor the health of deployed systems (a.k.a. M2M) has become prevalent.
As the cost of maintenance engineers is increasing, we are seeing more interest in the predictive and preventative maintenance solutions and solutions being developed and deployed in anger.
Increasing up-time by predicting and preventing failures in suppliers into critical infrastructure is also becoming common, driven down from the Utilities providers themselves.
The enablement of Field Service Personnel and increasing their efficiency is also a common topic of conversation.
We are now seeing companies taking a serious look at Augmented Reality as a Means of increasing Field Maintenance staff skills – reducing training overheads, but also removing the requirement for a multi-lingual maintenance manual.
Off-grid storage, Solar Power and even home deployed wind turbines are further compounding the challenges in the power market – a consumer also becomes a supplier…further complicating an already complex mix.
The Utilities marketplace may have been one of conservatism in the past – we think it is in the process of shedding that title.
Today we can see Utilities companies and their suppliers becoming the Industrial Innovators of the IIoT world.
The era of digital business is upon us. Organisations in creative and service driven sectors have been harnessing the benefits of digital technology for years to connect people. Now, manufacturing and industrial businesses are catching up by connecting things.
Read the Insight Gude to find out how can your business make industrial IoT happen.