Industrial “Things” Produce “Industrial-Sized” Outcomes

By | 3 minute read | September 24, 2018

Companies are instrumenting and connecting their industrial equipment, buildings and facilities, and vehicles with billions of sensors to create what is known as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The Industrial Internet of Things is generating exponential amounts of data that is creating opportunities to identify patterns that unlock new ways of working and new business value. According to the 2017 IBM Institute of Business Value (IBV) study, Intelligent Connections, “Sixty percent [of industrial companies] surveyed in our 2017 study are currently executing plans to incorporate IoT into their operating models. They say the main factors influencing investment in IoT are aimed at increasing efficiency.”

But given that 80 percent of the IIoT data generated is unstructured, companies are becoming overwhelmed with making sense of the vast amount of data. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is critical to making sense of all this data to enable people and things to work smarter and better. According to the same IBM IBV study, two thirds of reinventors, those identified as having the highest levels of IoT adoption and taking a visionary approach to an Intelligent IoT strategy, strongly agreed that the full potential of IoT can only be realized with the introduction of AI technologies.

At IBM, we are partnering with our clients to leverage the IIoT, advanced analytics and AI to reduce operational costs and increase uptime, bring better products to market faster, and find new business value across three main asset classes – industrial equipment, buildings and facilities, and vehicles.

Industrial Equipment

At a time of intense global competition, manufacturers are facing a variety of issues that impact productivity including workforce attrition, skills-gaps and rising raw material costs. All of which is exacerbated by downstream defects and equipment downtime. By combining the IoT and AI, manufacturers can stabilize production costs by pinpointing and predicting areas of loss such as energy waste, equipment failures, and issues that drive product quality. IBM is bringing powerful new AI and Analytics capabilities to our Maximo Enterprise Asset Management portfolio including Production Optimization, Production Quality Insights and Equipment Maintenance Assistant. Together these solutions help our clients maximize manufacturing throughput with predictive maintenance quality, visual and acoustic inspection, as well as prescriptive repair.

Buildings & Facilities

Today, 70 percent of a building’s total cost of ownership is linked to maintenance and energy costs. By combining IIoT and AI, retail owners and property managers can now analyze patterns of space, energy, traffic and asset usage, to create utilization strategies that reduce waste and optimize resources to maximize real estate investments. To address this opportunity, IBM is expanding our TRIRIGA Facilities Management portfolio to include Building Insights, which helps businesses decode the exabytes of data that buildings generate, visualize energy use and misuse, and leverage insights from weather, historical performance, and data from other third-party analytics to optimize real-estate investments.


The advent of autonomous driving, electric vehicles, evolutions in consumer preferences and the almost limitless availability of real-time data about driving patterns, usage and performance are transforming the automotive industry. At the same time, as vehicles become more complex, engineering requirements are exploding, with the typical vehicle today requiring over 100 million lines of code and thousands of engineering requirements. To support Systems Engineers as they manage through this complexity, IBM is expanding our Software & Systems Engineering portfolio with the Requirements Quality Assistant. This next generation, AI-enabled requirements management solution will assess the quality of requirements and provide guidance on how to improve the quality.

IBM is uniquely positioned to help businesses in asset-intensive industries as they scale their focus on Industrial IoT, with our deep industry and AI knowledge, a strong foundation of Industrial IoT Solutions, and the market’s leading Industrial IoT Platform, as IBM was recently named a leader in Forrester’s evaluation of the “most significant” Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) Software Platforms, Q3 2018. Our IBM Watson IoT platform helps organizations securely connect and collect data from multiple disparate sources and utilizes the power of Blockchain and AI-driven analytics in real-time. Leveraging the IBM Watson IoT Platform as the underlying technology, IBM Services is launching a new Connected Manufacturing offering that includes a method and approach to help our clients accelerate their IoT transformation — from strategy, implementation, and security to managed services and ongoing operations. This combined capability will help our clients connect all of their manufacturing equipment, sensors and systems to enable business improvement across OEE, quality, lead times and productivity.

(Source:Forrester Wave™: Industrial IoT Software Platforms, Q3 2018