Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up new business opportunities in many different industries. With IoT businesses are already experiencing increased sales of products and services, by adding value with innovations and improved customer experience.

But simply connecting devices to the internet and collecting the data is not enough. The business value of IoT comes from knowing how, when, and where to use the data in value-adding ways.

IoT combined with powerful analytics creates opportunities to increase revenue via new value added services.

Traditionally, data is collected and then the history is used to generate predictions of the future. The same way the board of directors examines figures from the previous quarters, with IoT and analytics it is possible to make business predictable – we can stop looking into the past to make predictions and look directly into the coming months by using real time information.

For example, with the help of advanced analytics we are able to predict when machinery would need maintenance. In predictive maintenance solutions sensors are providing real time data, which can be used together with historical data to predict errors occuring in the future. In addition, IoT or Industrial Internet enables combining data from various external data sources (such as weather data etc) which helps us understand and gain a holistic picture.

The business value of IoT is often easy to understand, particularly in these predictive maintenance solutions –less unexpected downtime of production lines, higher equipment utilization, safety improvements and optimized spare parts logistics, to mention a few.

Nevertheless, IoT business value can also be utilized in many other types of solutions. For instance, at Affecto we have developed video analytics for b2c retail environment, to create an exceptional customer experience and increase the sales through targeted marketing. We have installed equipment that use video cameras for detecting customers’ features like age, gender and customer’s mood. Based on the analysis the software determines which ad to display to each customer.

With the help of video analytics we are also able to find patterns in behavior of different customer segments.

These insights can be used to boost sales, help the customer find what they are looking for quicker and to test the attractiveness of different products, services and marketing messages.

Another great example is SnapSkan – a service that detects tire tread depth when a customer drives into a parking hall. The depth of the tire tread is automatically scanned at the entrance and connected to the car’s register plate number (only when customer makes query), ready to be presented to the customer when he makes the request via text message. This does not only add value to the business but also improves road safety and driving experience.

Already now there are countless possibilities of utilizing IoT, but we believe there is still a lot more to be discovered. Therefore we need to be brave and test and prototype different possibilities, and adopt a stepwise process for solution development – create solutions quickly and extend the application areas of IoT and analytics.

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