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Let’s make IoT real… real use cases and real ROI

flying pigs image
Dell EMC

On the Gartner Hype Cycle, a technology moves from the ‘peak of inflated expectations,’ through the ‘trough of disillusionment,’ and finally up the ‘slope of enlightenment’. Gartner states that for the technology to progress up the slope of enlightenment “More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood,” or in other words, there need to be proof points using real use cases and real ROI. There are many executives (including CIOs) today receiving a charge from their CEO to develop an “IoT strategy,” but the challenge is where to start. There is so much marketing material available today on IoT with authors talking about this and that use case and these materials all make for very exciting stories. The unfortunate result, however, is itis very difficult to sort through the glut of materials to identify which ones are just stories (I call them “flying pigs”) and which ones can bring significant business value to the executives building their strategies. The IoT industry as a whole needs to make a shift to real use cases and real ROI in order to help customers to understand, plan and develop successful strategies. This will not only help customers but also move IoT along and out of the Hype Cycle into reality so the technology will be more widely understood and adopted.

There is more and more research coming out stating that it is not security or the right analytical models which are impeding IoT adoption… it is the business case. Smart Industry released a report last year stating just this, that the #1 thing impeding IoT is “lack of business-impact understanding.” More recently Canonical released a report on Defining IoT Business Models where they found that “Quantifying ROI was the biggest immediate challenge faced by IoT professionals.” Do I need to do more to make my case that IoT vendors must stop putting lipstick on flying pigs? Without providing real use cases and delivering real results, real ROI, we are confusing the entire industry?

There are real IoT use cases driving real ROI for customers today. Where do we see organizations delivering solutions differently in order to make IoT real for their customers? It begins with a focus on customer value instead of story value. Dell Technologies has built a market readiness assessment to determine if a use case is rooted in real pain customers are experiencing or if it is technology looking for a problem. The assessment also explores if there are referenceable deployments where IoT technologies are addressing this pain which directly result in clear ROI. Repeatability of the technical solution is another key part of the analysis comparing the ROI to the complexity of the deployment because if every deployment is unique it is obviously harder to achieve ROI. Use cases must pass this assessment before they are promoted in the market.

To continue efforts to make IoT real, Dell Technologies is taking the top use cases directly from the results of the market readiness assessment and turning them into Blueprints and Ready Solutions to help customers accelerate deployments.

Let’s make this a little bit more concrete – here are some of the use cases which Dell has determined to be driving real ROI and the associated Blueprints.

Deploying refrigeration monitoring in grocery retail results in a 49% reduction in refrigeration asset downtime eliminating costly food spoilage, saves millions of dollars on energy costs, and improves product quality by optimizing refrigeration temperatures. We know this because real deployments have proven this ROI . If a customer wants to deploy a refrigeration monitoring solution they can use this Blueprint we developed with IMS Evolve to understand the key steps to take and follow the recommended architecture.

MicroGrid energy management also drives clear ROI with peak energy pricing making up only 10% of usage but 40% of the bill. Renewable energy generation assets such as photovoltaic arrays can recognize a usability increase of over 100% when managed as part of a complete MicroGrid system that includes storage. Organizations can also increase revenue through Demand Response and reduce operations risks through visibility and control of onsite power generation. To learn more about deploying a MicroGrid energy management system you can refer to this Blueprint with our partner ELM.

One final real use case driving real ROI is remote valve monitoring in process control. The ARC Advisory Group recently reported that the global process industry loses $20 billion, or 5 percent of annual production, due to unscheduled downtime and poor quality. As much as 43% of unplanned downtime is caused by equipment failure and it costs approximately 50% more to repair a failed asset than if the problem had been addressed prior to failure. The solution to this customer pain is remote valve monitoring and our Blueprint with Emerson, Microsoft, and OSIsoft provides clear steps to take to deploy this solution.

This approach to the market ensures that historical success can help executives determine the best place to begin in developing and implementing their IoT strategy using existing blueprints where real ROI has been delivered. Using this methodology will also accelerate the IoT through the Gartner Hype Cycle and enable organizations to drive wider adoption of IoT strategies and drive greater profitability for the vendors.

Kevin Terwilliger is the Solutions Director for Dell’s IoT Division where he leads vertical strategy and the creation of use case specific ‘blueprints’ to help customers realize ROI quicker on IoT deployments.