In IoT, the data about how a machine works is becoming as critical on a company as their customer’s data. Data about the actual performance of an equipment has a huge value for you (let’s assume you are in operations), your maintenance team, your accounting team, your development team, your financial team, your sales team, your R&D team, your marketing team, your logistics team, your top management… For everyone inside a company who connects its equipment. Are you seriously thinking about who will actually own those critical data? What would happen in your company if someone out of it would have access to those data? What if someone would aggregate all those data and sell it as “market study”, even anonymous? Are you fully owning your data?
THE VALUE OF YOUR DATA
The data of your equipment is critical to your company. It is the new “gold” in a connected business world. Let me explain why (on a summarized manner):
The Value for the Operations Team: Basically you need to know when things go wrong or are going to be wrong. Is obvious that the earlier you can act on a problem, the more money you will be able to save (less time your equipment will be stopped).
The Value for the Sales Team: If you know the actual use of an equipment and you are the manufacturer of that equipment, when the end of the life of such product is near, you can visit the customer and propose a buy-back program or a new equipment. So you are very much aware of the evolution of your customers and can carefully take care of them to avoid your competitors to “steal” them.
The Value for the Maintenance Team: This is quite obvious. If Maintenance team is aware of what’s going on in the equipment, they can act faster and predict some problems as well as solve others by knowing in advance the situation they will face (bringing spare parts with them already). This data will give you a great advantage versus your competitors on giving service to your customers.
The Value for the Logistics Team: Wouldn’t be great to include the info about the actual situation of consumables of your products to better predict the deliveries of them and how you manage it? If you can’t see it, think about Amazon and their amazing delivery service. And machines are more predictive in their behaviour than humans…
The Value for the Marketing Team: Imagine you can see the sales of your products worldwide or the actual success of a promotion in real time or the evolution of the stocks in the point of sales. Who owns this data, can react faster.
The Value for the R&D Team: “Seeing” your products being used on actual working environment can advise the R&D team about what aspects must be emphasized or what functionalities no one uses that removing them can reduce the cost of your product. Would you like to share those data? Don’t think so…
The Value for the Financial Team: Create new business models is very much related to finance: how to change cash-flows, how to transform investments into expenses, how to forecast costs related to maintenance and consumables. With this data, your company can propose new business models. Is this important enough to secure the ownership of your connected equipment data?
If you are really aware of the value of your data and the impact it can have in the present and the future of your company, I’m sure you want to secure that there is no doubt about the ownership, the location where it is stored and who has access to it.
The famous “Battle of the Platforms” that today is facing IoT (every large IT company has a Platform) is based on offering the platform as a combination of Software (the platform to build your application and run it) and the hosting and the storage (the cloud or the infrastructure). So actually, it is a service and as such you depend on “someone else’s” ability to do it right. But is that the only solution? Edge Computing opened a door to a concept quite powerful…
The Door to a New Concept on How to Deal with Your Own Data
Edge computing is the way to propose that near of the equipment you have more power of computing, and as such, you reduce your need of communication (reducing the cost of transporting data) and gives more action possibilities “where the things happen”. But, what if we take this concept to the extreme and actually you can work without the mandatory need of being connected to the Cloud? What if you can have a “full platform” on premise and just send the data that has real sense to transmit to the Headquarter, everything within the boundaries of your infrastructure? What if you could create your own platform and decide where to deploy it, being totally vendor agnostic and controlling at any time where your data resides? Then you would not only own the platform, but also the data, YOUR DATA.
In this paradigm we deeply trust. BUILD YOUR PLATFORM, OWN YOUR DATA.
IMAGE 1 Regular EDGE Computing Solution
IMAGE 2 Advanced EDGE Computing Solution
In this scenario, it is possible to “inject” the data from the EDGE Platform into a “well-known” analytics as IBM Watson or Azure, to make full use of highly relevant data and extract the insights that has relevance into our business.
IMAGE 3 Private Owned EDGE and Cloud Solution
In this scenario, you own the EDGE Platform, the HQ Platform and it is deployed in the infrastructure you prefer (own data center or private cloud).
Which is the best solution? It is your choice, but at least, remember, there are choices. Not all Platforms are Cloud-based-Only and is about looking for the supplier who gives you the tools to create your platform and own your data. “Accidentally” NEXIONA is one of them 😊 (and hopefully not the only one). We develop the technology to allow you to make such choices: Free choice of where to install the platform and own it. An example is the MIIMETIQ EDGE build in a Dell gateway. In this an “All-in-One” IoT Solution where you have the server, the gateway and the platform. So only you need to connect to the Cloud “in case you want to”. Otherwise, everything is on a box.
I want to clearly state that this is not a “commercial” article. I really want to emphasize that the only reason to include our company on it is because we are one of the few promoting this concept of “BUILD YOUR PLATFORM, OWN YOUR DATA”. So it is not easy to find other suppliers who promote it as most of them prefer to promote their complete service (the software and the infrastructure). But we strongly believe based on our experience that this is a real demand from the market. Controlling the complete package is a very real demand on a market where people is so corncerned about security.