IoT Business Case: Control/Management as a Service
Using fewer resources is a good thing. Equally important is using resources more efficiently. Controlling resource consumption can lead to less waste, cost savings, and environmental advantages. This brings us to our next IoT business case paradigm: Control/Management as a Service.
Before the technological advances provided by IoT, these types of initiatives would have to be hardwired to run properly – usually with a dedicated computer needed on premises. A good old-school example is how power plants are monitored to enhance and ensure efficiency. There are extensive measurement, analysis and control systems in a power plant to wring out every last fraction of a percentage of efficiency. For smaller scale applications IoT provides low-cost connectivity, allowing controller devices to be deployed en masse to actively manage the consumption of resources in many places.
One good example of IoT enabled management as a service is refrigeration control for a chain of grocery stores. Refrigeration units and cold cases in grocery stores are controlled by simple thermostats with compressor units typically located on the roof. By placing an IoT device with cellular connectivity on each compressor and interfaced to the control loop, the temperature can be monitored and controlled independently from the primary thermostat.
Data collected during normal system behavior can show how much, when, and by what means energy is being consumed. Then using sophisticated analysis such as data mining and machine learning, the management as a service system can learn how to save on energy consumption, such as keeping certain cold cases at a higher temperature depending on the product or freezing product overnight when the equipment is most efficient.
You can apply this type of intelligence to almost any kind of consumable resource, from food and fuel to fresh water and wastewater management. There are seemingly endless applications that can greatly benefit an organization in several ways.
This is where the following business incentives and the new technology intersect:
- Make money
- Save money
- Legal compliance
- Reputation protection
Now insert more great ideas here- because if you have solid metrics, you can test out new ideas one system at a time. Did it make a difference? Was that a good enhancement? Can it be applied elsewhere?
Management as a service provides a way for mundane but important resource utilization to get the value of data analytics and efficiency enhancements. If done correctly, you can potentially see reduction of resource consumption, not to mention save money and emit less CO2 and pollutants into the atmosphere.
Not sure where to start? F3 can help you incorporate the right technologies into your business and help you understand the best ways to make it pay for you.