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Designing for Emerging Technology: Harnessing the Internet of Things

IoT isn’t just another acronym; it’s a new way of life.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the ability for objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems, resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit. Each thing is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system but is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure.

Data storage areas within commercial facilities are often the most overlooked, yet most important parts of a building.

Why it Matters

The impact of the Internet of Things has been transformative, and its impact has only just begun. Just as the original Internet revolutionized the computer, communications, research, and virtually everything else, the Internet of Things will revolutionize how ‘business’ (in this case the business of anything) is accomplished. Experts estimate that by the year 2020, the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion connected objects improving all aspects of life though ‘smart’ cities, buildings, utilities, infrastructure, manufacturing, transportation, governance, supply chains, security, and consumer goods.

What this Means for Your Company

Continued technological advances will provide opportunities to improve operational efficiency, lower costs and improve competitive advantages through automation, connectivity and accelerated change in a number of industries.

Manufacturing Facilities

The IoT intelligent systems will advance manufacturing through the networking of machines, sensors and control systems to support dynamic response to product demands, and real-time optimization of manufacturing production and supply chain networks. Owners of future manufacturing facilities will also realize improved asset management from predictive maintenance, statistical evaluation, and measurements to maximize reliability, and integration with the Smart Grid to maximize energy optimization.

Advanced Commercial Facilities

Office facilities are transforming into Advanced Commercial facilities by co-locating traditional office spaces with research & development, additive manufacturing, visualization, and testing capabilities as an “incubation lab” for rapid product development. Seamless connectivity, scalability, and data security will be increasingly vital for collaboration. Digital convergence of Information Technologies, Telecommunication, Consumer Electronics, and Entertainment will share resources and interact with each other synergistically, supporting untethered, yet highly secured work environments.

A data center for a major commercial airline carrier must have the latest in new technology to maintain safety.

Government and Federal Facilities

Government entities of all sizes are increasingly benefitting from the IoT, from streamlining services for scheduling repair and maintenance activities, monitoring infrastructure for security and improved emergency response, and offering e-commerce options to support 24/7 transaction capabilities for revenue collection and service offerings. Additionally, usage of IoT devices will continue to increase the quality of service and reduce the cost of operation in infrastructure related areas as manual “inspections” will be replaced by real-time data monitoring at a reduced cost.

Where to Start

As the IoT continues to proliferate in business, the traditional IT model of either ‘easy to use’ or ‘secure’ but not both, must be superseded by the convergence of Operations Technology (OT) with Information Technology (IT) to ensure both sides of your business share the same security goals. Your facility plans an even bigger role in this process as it must be logistically configured in a way that makes sense from both security and space utilization standpoints.

With a properly aligned facility, integrating the Internet of Things can be a seamless process instead of an unknown undertaking. How much more technology could you be harnessing?

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Posted In: Trends
Tagged In: technology, Internet, RCID
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Dave offers clients technical expertise in evaluating and embracing technology trends and ensuring security protocols are addressed. Whether as part of an overall design strategy or as an on-call technology subject matter expert, Dave has helped design some of the most advanced facilities while integrating technology, automation, tooling, and security.

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