Since the Internet debuted in the 80’s, it has had seismic global impact by enabling ubiquitous connectivity and information-sharing around the world. This so-called first tech revolution was followed by the advent of mobile devices in the 90s, the second tech revolution. Then along came the social cloud.

The social mobile cloud has created an environment that has democratized access to data, information and knowledge around the globe. These technologies have not only enabled us to learn from each other but have already ushered in major social and political changes around the globe.

In the last few years, this democratization has been spreading through our physical entities as well.  The introduction of miniaturized smart sensors, that cost less than a dime and can be easily implanted on anything from frying pans to jet engines, and are all connected and communicating with each other via the internet, has enabled streaming data sharing, real-time analysis, self-learning and proactive alerting and/or recommending actions.  This is the  Internet of Things (IoT), the third tech revolution — generating data exponentially with tons of operational intelligence embedded in it.

For instance, did you know that tens of sensors are placed on a car’s engine?  Today’s engines are sending performance and diagnostic data to a central data center every few seconds to be analyzed in real time and take action, optimize and/or adjust the processes when necessary.  Here are a very few simple uses of IoT data that are common today:

  1. Preventative breakdown and maintenance
  2. Remotely fixing problems in the engine
  3. Performance data to optimize the current design

This connectivity and global data sharing has been expanded to jet engines, factory floors, health equipment, locomotives, and many other areas that intersect our daily lives. With IoT, we are entering a new era of process and operation optimization, lower maintenance and higher productivity resulting in more uptime.

Those who can leverage IoT connectivity, big data and analytics implementation clearly have a significant competitive advantage.  GE Digital has been leading in this space and has developed Predix, a Platform as a Service (PaaS), to make any machine an intelligent asset — bringing actionable insights to every part of industrial infrastructure and operations.

At Decisyon, we created a visual app development environment for Predix, namely Decisyon App Composer, democratizing the access to all GE’s assets and services for non-professional developers. This means anyone with a bright idea, without any coding, can rapidly build a solution that can process real-time data from devices and allow their users to aggregate, visualize and analyze real time data, then collaborate, decide and take actions to optimize any process or business operation (learn how you can do that, here).

With time-to-market being a critical competitive advantage these days, whoever can quickly leverage IoT’s massive data intelligence and use it to improve business operations will dominate. With democratization, more people participate and the best idea wins!!!