Transformational: IoT in manufacturing and automotive


By Macario Namie, vice president for strategy, Jasper

The Internet of Things (IoT) has gained incredible momentum in the enterprise as companies embrace the opportunities that connectivity offers.  The media is awash with growth figures, but to take one, IDC predicts that the worldwide IoT market will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020, and we’re already seeing countless examples of the technology making a meaningful impact across a range of market verticals [IDC Worldwide IoT Forecast, 2015-2020].

Two of the fastest growing industries for IoT are automotive and manufacturing, so it’s worth taking a deep dive into how enterprises in these markets have so successfully leveraged connectivity to transform their businesses.

Transformation really is the key with IoT. For every enterprise, IoT fundamentally changes how you operate, interact with customers and generate revenue. Your focus shifts from the sale of static ‘things’ to the services that can be delivered via connected devices.

Driving new experiences

The connected car industry is a prime example of products becoming services, unlocking added value for customers and lucrative new sources of revenue for businesses.  Analyst firm Juniper Research predicts the connected car market will grow faster than any other IoT segment and will account for a fifth of total passenger car revenue by 2019 [Juniper Research M2M and Embedded Devices 2015-2019].

One reason the automotive industry has so much growth potential is the sheer range of new services that can be enabled via IoT-connected cars. These range from remote diagnostics and safety & security services, to on-board infotainment systems and Wi-Fi hotspot services. These services are changing the whole concept of the car from a static product that delivered one experience throughout its lifecycle, to a hub for dynamic services that can be tailored to each person throughout their ownership of the vehicle.

To ensure that it could deliver value added services to all of its customers, every one of GM’s 2015 model vehicles now ships with IoT connectivity, for safety through to sharing information. As a result, it forecasts that its IoT initiatives will deliver an additional $350 million in profit over the next three years.

GM uses IoT to keep drivers safely connected with OnStar safety and security services and to provide navigation assistance and emergency response, and it also offers RemoteLink, an application enabling remote access to the vehicle to start it, lock or unlock the doors, and more.

Yet GM is just one of many automotive manufacturers making strides with connected vehicle strategies; Audi equips its cars with mobile hotspot services through Audi Connect, and Ford uses the new Sync 3, which has already been included in more than 30 million vehicles spanning 250 models.

The IoT is creating new business and revenue opportunities for a range of players, from the car manufacturers, to the mobile operators providing the connectivity, to the service providers innovating on an application level, to the content providers who have a new channel to reach their audience.

Value in manufacturing  

Manufacturing is another vertical industry rapidly incorporating IoT into its supply chain, from shop floor to distribution centre. Manufacturers are using IoT to connect machinery and robots to automate processes and enable remote diagnostics, thus ensuring greater uptime.

ABB, one of the world’s largest suppliers of industrial robots and modular manufacturing systems, is one company that is creating new smart products to make factories around the world safer, more productive and more cost efficient.

ABB utilises IoT services to remotely monitor and diagnose robots, automatically deploy software updates when needed, and dispatch technicians before a physical problem occurs. This helps ensure that ABB’s robots always operate at an optimal level so that operations on the factory floor are not disrupted, saving manufacturing companies thousands of pounds per minute of downtime.

All to become IoT businesses

There are currently over seven billion people on the planet, but there are already over 7.5 billion mobile connections in the world right now [GSMA Intelligence]. And that figure is growing five times faster than the population [US Census Bureau].

The reach of IoT is expanding rapidly, and we’re seeing innovation, like that we’ve seen from the automotive and manufacturing industries, emerging from nearly every industry. These businesses continue to illustrate that the IoT is not about ‘things’; it’s about services. And in the years to come, we will see that businesses in every industry will thrive by adopting IoT to transform from product companies to IoT service companies.

Jasper provides a cloud-based software platform for the IoT and, more specifically, to enable product businesses to become IoT service businesses. 


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