The first thing to remember is that every IoT project is different. Whether it’s smart building integration, remote condition monitoring deployment or a machine vision proof-of-concept; every IoT project has different goals and purposes, and as such, needs to be planned and prepared for in different ways.
The difficulty is that some facilities managers, sustainability managers, energy managers and asset operators have been wrongly gulled by some of the big misbeliefs around IoT – and for that reason, conversations around IoT often get cut woefully short. In this article, I’ll show you the reality of installing IoT into an estate and how it actually works, and hopefully clear up some of the misinformation about IoT installations.
Myth 1 – It Takes Too Long to Get Set up
It’s understandable that people often think IoT installation takes a lot of time, but this outrageous myth has been around too long and it’s time to bust it once and for all.
There are some small steps that require manual work – purchasing and connecting sensors and gateways is the bulk of the task. Even this, depending on the size of your estate, will often take a very short amount of time. The beauty of having both vendor and protocol agnosticism on your side is that getting connected really isn’t a big feat. Once you’ve done that, going live with your connected assets can be done in a matter of minutes and that is that.
*In some cases, we’ve deployed our IoT solutions in less than five minutes.
Myth 2 – It Costs a Fortune
It’s the age-old battle of investment vs return, and in this case it’s fairly easily quantifiable… Let’s talk numbers.
When it comes to IoT investment and returns, you have to first consider a few areas of potential saving: maintenance, energy savings and efficiency improvements (in production, for example). By having visibility of asset performance, you’re able to empower maximum efficiency – that means fewer maintenance call outs and less replacing machines that can be fixed before they fail. Visibility also lets you optimise energy consumption, reducing unnecessary usage and in some cases, automating the power needed for certain assets over specific time periods.
One of the really nifty benefits of IoT that often gets overlooked is the capability to implement energy performance indicators, which help normalise energy consumption by any measurable, influencing factor. It means that spikes in energy can be overlayed with, for example, items produced to help understand the cause of spikes in consumption. Generally, this kind of visibility lets energy managers keep efficiency at high levels and ultimately reduce costs.
While it can be relatively expensive to install IoT solutions, the results, in my experience, are always flush with huge savings.
Myth 3 – It’s All or Nothing
Of course implementing IoT into your entire estate right off the bat is going to seem daunting, but that’s an unreasonable place to start. To begin with, it’s better to think smaller, more granular and build up from there. Manufacturers might start with one or two production lines, retailers might start with one or two stores – the trick is to make use of the types of tech you’ll want to implement across your entire estate, on a small scale. It gives you an opportunity to get a feel for the tech and understand the software before rolling it out to your entire estate.
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth, but strangely, it is a pretty common misconception. So when thinking about IoT, consider a simple demonstration; connect to some legacy assets in your most consuming facility, see the data for yourself and from that you can decide if an IoT rollout is right for you.
Myth 4 – My Assets Will Be Vulnerable
Okay, security. This is a big one. Remember the hacker that tried to poison Florida’s water supply? It’s the kind of news story that seriously worries facilities managers because it’s a terrifying yet somehow relatable scenario. We sometimes get asked about the security of having assets connected to the cloud, the reasoning behind it being that assets in the cloud could be open to attack.
This really is a big misconception, and the reality of it is that had Florida’s water facility been using independent security encryption keys, none of that sensitive asset data could’ve been accessed. IoT deployments use encryption keys to keep all assets and data safe and impenetrable. So the idea that assets would be open to attack is really quite the opposite of the truth.
Assets connected to the cloud are safe, very safe!
IoT installation can seem like a giant project on paper, but broken down and rolled out in a logical way, not only is it a breeze to install, but you’ll also get immediate value gratification.
Now that those pesky myths have been busted, perhaps you’d like to have a conversation about IoT – if you do then just get in touch today!