“What’s interesting is that IoT has been around for a long time but as companies start to enable it and start to leverage it more and more there’s just huge volumes of data that have to be managed and be able to analyze and be able to execute from,” says John Barcus, Vice President Manufacturing Industries at Oracle. “One of the technologies that is really exciting is this whole concept of AI. It really allows you to use that information and correlate it with a lot of different pieces of information.”
John Barcus, Vice President Manufacturing Industries at Oracle, discusses how technologies such as AI and blockchain are now helping companies manage huge volumes of IoT data in an interview with technology influencer Ronald van Loon:
Companies Are Moving Toward Selling Products as a Service
I think that (manufacturers connecting all the processes digitally) is the way that will differentiate them. It’s really the only way the companies will be able to survive into the future. There are all these business models and it has become significantly more competitive than it has been in the past. Companies have to work faster and they have to be more responsive to what their customer needs are. The only way really of doing that is to connect the various aspects of the business. They can’t work in silos anymore. That really will give you the whole value of the business.
One area that companies are moving away from is selling products. They’re going into selling more services which we’ve actually seen for some time. But what they’re now getting into is these new models where they might be selling products as a service. If you think about how do you sell a product as a service and the ability to support that it is a lot different than it was before. Connecting to that product and being able to anticipate activities, anticipate needs, anticipate failures, and to be able to monitor how it’s performing, how the customers use it and are able to expand on that to be able to provide a better outcome for the customer are important components.
Huge Volume of IoT Data Managed via AI Creates Real Value
What’s interesting is that IoT has been around for a long time but as companies start to enable it and start to leverage it more and more there’s just huge volumes of data that have to be managed and be able to analyze and be able to execute from. One of the technologies that is really exciting is this whole concept of AI. It really allows you to use that information and correlate it with a lot of different pieces of information. You can correlate with the data that might be in your ERP and your MES and other sources of information and actually provide some real value and provide the real outcomes. It can now do some predictions where it would be actually physically impossible for people to do the same type of calculations that they’ve been doing in the past with this huge volume today.
The second area where there seems to be a little hesitation at the moment is around blockchain. But the technology is there and people have been trying to identify how best to use it. Some of the use cases that are coming out now are going to be quite impressive. I think the little bit of a lull was deserved. People who looked at it anticipate a little bit more than what was possible and now they’re really starting to develop some good use cases. I think there’s a lot of opportunities in that area.