by Thomas Macaulay

How UK CIOs are using IoT

Feb 25, 2019
IT StrategyMobileMobile Apps

Cal Corcoran – Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport CIO Cal Corcoran has laid down a new campus WiFi network that has allowed the airport to deploy IoT at scale, which uses sensors to monitor everything from the levels of waste in the bins, to information relating to baggage trolleys.

“The whole reason we are putting these sensors on is to try and improve either the passenger experience as it relates to planes landing on time, taking off on time, dealing with disruption – making the movement through the airport a more enjoyable one,” he says.

Read next: Gatwick Airport CIO Cal Corcoran interview – Delivering Internet of Things at scale

Andrew Quail – SGN

Andrew Quail - SGN

SGN Director of IT and Innovation Andrew Quail has attracted funding from energy regulator Ofgem to develop an IoT platform called Real-Time Networks, which uses sensors and monitoring technology to analyse customer gas demand in real time.

“Real-Time Networks is essentially looking at utilising more smart and connected technology across our low-pressure distribution network to better manage, forecast, and run that part of the network,” he says.

James Munson – DVSA

James Munson - DVSA

DVSA Director of Services and Technology James Munson is exploring how data collected through IoT devices can be combined with the agency’s new digital driving tests, which examiners will soon conduct using tablets rather than paper.

“That opens doors for different ways of workings – we can gather data about the tests and about faults, and perhaps improve our way of working,” Munson said.

Read next: DVSA Director of Services and Technology James Munson driving the journey to agility

Jane Moran – Unilever

Jane Moran - Unilever

Unilever’s massive factory estate is fertile ground for IoT, particularly as the consumer goods giant can already call on the range of sensors that have been installed in its facilities for years.

CIO Jane Moran says that “IoT is really the analytics that sits on top”, and has been working with Microsoft Azure, IBM and Salesforce on a number of pilots that have now gone into production to create smarter logistics and factories.

Read next: Unilever CIO Jane Moran interview – Developing an Agile platform for growth and innovation

Dan Fiehn – Markerstudy

Dan Fiehn - Markerstudy

Markerstudy Group launched a digital business called VisionTrack that uses IoT to reduce the risk of road injuries at the motor insurance company.

VisionTrack combines a high-definition telematics camera that contains a SIM card to transmit information about the driver in real-time with an IoT platform created in partnership with Microsoft that connects the system to all of Markerstudy’s drivers around the world.

It can monitor their speeds, provide real-time images of the car, send texts to the driver that are converted to audio, and receive alerts from a panic button if the driver is in danger.

“This has had a profound effect on driver behaviour,” says Markerstudy Group CIO Dan Fiehn. “The fact that they know we can see what they can see has really moderated their style.”

Read next: Markerstudy Group CIO Dan Fiehn explains how he deals with the pace of technology innovation while battling the business change backlog

David Jones – AEG

David Jones - AEG

IoT is already bringing big benefits to the arenas and stadia run by sports and entertainment giant Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

David Jones, the company’s Vice President of IT in Europe, has to balance innovation against security in its use of IoT.

“We’ve got all sorts of sensors in our buildings,” says Jones. “If you look at our new arenas, pretty much everything is on the network. We’re also looking at technologies that let you measure queue length using cameras and artificial intelligence, or let you count people coming through the doors so we can work out how many people are in a particular part of the building.

“One of the biggest challenges from an information security point of view is that we’re always being asked to stick something on the network in the building. It’s that tension between trying to be agile and innovative but also not losing complete sight of process, procedure, documentation and information security.”

Read next: AEG CIO David Jones interview – Digital innovation and live disruption

John Court – Eddie Stobart

John Court - Eddie Stobart

Eddie Stobart CIO John Court has found deep insights into the haulage business through the growing number of IoT devices that connected to the company.

“If we rolled back the clock five or 10 years, you’d see vehicles were connected to a level,” says Court. “So you’d have reasonable visibility, you would have some mobile workforce, iPads and so on, but what’s happened particularly in that timeframe is that the diversity of items that are now connected has expanded rapidly.”

This expansion allows Eddie Stobart to monitor internet-connected forklift trucks and refrigeration units that have embedded temperature sensors.

The company is also monitoring all aspects of the vehicle and security on site through a video connection.

“There’s a whole range of connected activity that captures a huge volume of data that we’re able now with current analytics toolsets and techniques to assemble and analyse in ways that were either challenging or impossible in years gone by,” says Court.

Read next: Eddie Stobart CIO John Court on how IoT, blockchain and AI are transforming transport and logistics

Jennifer Rigby – Lloyd’s of London

Jennifer Rigby - Lloyd's of London

Lloyd’s of London CIO Jennifer Rigby believes that IoT can bring huge benefits to financial services and a range of other sectors.

“The idea of so much more machine-to-machine type of intelligence that can happen, I think will really bring us a lot of new services that we haven’t yet imagined and from our perspective, gives us a lot more real-time information,” she says.

“Again, to look at risk, to look at what’s happening in the world, to enable us to then evaluate that and support our customers in a much better way.”

Read next: Lloyd’s of London CIO Jennifer Rigby says technology innovation and IT at the core of business transformation

Chris Zissis – JLL

Chris Zissis - JLL

JLL CIO Chris Zissis says IoT has big potential commercial property and management services company. He believes that it could prove transformational for data aggregation and operational improvements in areas such as predictive maintenance, but that clients first need to be convinced that the technology is worth the investment.

“Another application which I think we will embrace more and more, is how do we use the Internet of Things to do things like predictive maintenance,” he says.

“To do things like measure with clear KPIs the green credentials and footprint of buildings. And I think our industry will struggle to define exactly where we will get our biggest bang for our buck – not because we don’t want to but because I think clients are prepared to pay variable amounts for these values.”

Read next: JLL CIO Chris Zissis interview – Empowering business innovation and digitisation