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What Reinventors Know. Part 3: the importance of platform

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Welcome to part three of ‘What Reinventors Know’ – bringing you insights from the trail-blazing C-suite executives who are digitally reinventing their enterprises. In parts one and two, we discussed the importance of AI and working with the right partners. Today, we’ll look at how a robust, scalable IoT platform can set your enterprise up for the future.

What is an IoT platform?

A robust IoT platform is going to be central to your digital strategy, so it’s important to choose one that meets your needs. But first, you need to understand its purpose.

Essentially, an IoT platform works a bit like a computer operating system – managing background tasks that make life easier for its users. It is a base on which to create (and manage) applications, store and secure data, and run analytics. It connects everything in an IoT system – from devices and other hardware (like sensors) to connectivity and the user interface.

Crucially, an IoT platform has to be able to collect, visualize and analyze IoT data. And as the volume of this data continues to grow, the platform’s capabilities need to grow with it.

Central to the business value of a platform is its ability to scale insight with low marginal costs. Value increases to the platform owner over time as insights, trends and opportunities can be capitalized on.

CxOs' big bet: platforms

Reinventors are investing in robust platforms

Coping with data proliferation

As more enterprises embrace the Internet of Things, we’re starting to see a sharp upswing in data generated by connected things. An HIS report estimates that in 2015 there were around 15.4 billion connected devices. This is projected to grow to 30.7 billion in 2020.

As connectivity increases, so is network complexity and IoT data. In order to continue getting the most from that data, you’ll need a robust platform that can scale exponentially.

Reinventors know this and they all have one thing in common: they use a robust, scalable IoT platform. A good IoT platform, like IBM’s Watson Platform, can support billions of devices and trillions of messages. This means that even with the data tsunami headed at you, your business can still undertake data analysis in close to real-time and extract meaningful insights.

The Watson IoT Platform

The Watson IoT Platform gives enterprises the ability to completely manage their IoT landscape. With it, you can take advantage of secure, globally distributed data, analytics and cloud facilities and edge capabilities to make better business decisions. It also supports Watson’s cognitive capabilities: like Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and image and text analytics. With these capabilities, Watson can help you understand current conditions and trends, by makings sense of unstructured data like video, images and conversations.  It’s extensible to ecosystems partners, allowing a broader range of benefits to accrue across the value chain, speeding decisions and actions. It also provides the basis for including and connecting to new technologies like Blockchain and AR/VR.

Who’s using Watson?

We have many clients and partners who are already seeing the benefits of the Watson IoT Platform. KONE, for example, is using it to connect, remotely monitor and optimize elevators, escalators, doors and turnstiles in buildings worldwide. Whirlpool has seen a 70 percent decrease in customer service time for its connected home appliances, and a 50 percent reduction in projected service costs. And SNCF, the French Railways operator, is using Watson to deliver better customer experiences, operational efficiency and rail safety.

Meet the Reinventors at THINK 2018

You can learn more about the Watson IoT Platform, and meet the Reinventors who are using it, at Think 2018. Think is a first-of-its-kind business and technology event taking place in Las Vegas from 19-22 March. Join us there to hear how our clients and partners are realizing their IoT goals with Watson. We can help you get started with your own digital reinvention journey, too.

Further resources

Research Leader, Electronics, IBM Institute for Business Value

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