As the industrial revolution merges with the digital world, data is the new dollar

According to Gartner, we’ll be using 8.4 billion connected things worldwide in 2017. That’s 31 percent more connected things than in 2016. To get ahead of the trend, many industry leaders are putting their brains together to figure out how to turn the Internet of Things (IoT) into a valuable, revenue-generating commodity for their organizations.

PTC’s IoT event LiveWorx ‘17 provided an avenue to discuss just that. After discussions from industry leaders, getting our hands on groundbreaking technology, and discovering real-world use cases, we came away from the conference with this thought: In the digital revolution age, data is the new dollar.

Here are a few best practices that can make that theory a reality for your organization:

1. Information is becoming an extremely valuable commodity

Physical and digital convergence is driving huge value for the IoT ecosystem, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface. From product usage insights, to quick and efficient trouble shooting, connected devices are turning data into usable, actionable information.

To pull an example of one of our own projects, a leading manufacture came to us looking to improve their very expensive bearing. By implementing IoT, we collected the product’s data to determine how and when the bearings were being used. After collecting, organizing and analyzing the data, we then were able to predict when and where the bearing was going to fail, therefore saving our client several million dollars from their inventory.

2. Data is useless without a viable IoT strategy

During his keynote, PTC President and CEO Jim Heppelmann stated: “If data is the new oil, you’re going to need a new refinery.” At Twisthink, we consistently bring  this point up with our clients. With machines that can generate an overwhelming amount of data, you need an IoT strategy in place to take full advantage. In fact, we recently created a guide to help organizations stay ahead of their competitors, and shift to a digital strategy that integrates IoT in a way that truly adds up to a revenue opportunity. Check out the guide here.

3. In an increasingly connected world, human centered design is critical

When deriving monetary value from data, the human-centered design (HCD) approach has never been more essential. In order to better understand customer needs and pain points, as well as save time and money later-on in the product development stage, OEMs and manufacturers need to collect data and derive insights on assets, equipment, and technicians early in the design process.

At TwistHDM, a Twisthink company with a commercial IoT lighting solution, we’ve found that a large part of our success can be credited to the way we’ve differentiated the platform by implementing hospitality at the commissioning stage. By listening to the end user from the beginning of the design process, we created a platform that works diligently to streamline the process for its clients to ensure it is as fast and frictionless as possible. In fact, 85 percent of customers come back to TwistHDM because they have experienced the ease with which they can get up and running.

Physical and digital convergence is driving huge value for IoT ecosystem as a whole. Through this technology, we’re able to collect and implement user insights into product usage that can help organizations make informed decisions about the next product version.  As information increasingly becomes a valuable commodity, be sure your organization is equipped to extract and use data on the edge. If you’re interested in putting a plan in place to obtain revenue from data, send us a note at and let’s talk.

Billy helps our clients solve challenging problems with code. He enjoys keeping up with the ever-changing cloud landscape and working on large datasets.

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