A large manufacturer needed help to increase their output after realizing that running lines faster wasn’t producing more products. Using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, the company saw a 10 percent increase in efficiency without having to add new infrastructure or use more power.
Robert Schmid, chief IoT technologist at Deloitte, shared this real-life business solution and others during the keynote address of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies (CDAIT) international conference on the Internet of Things (IoT) and sustainability held July 18, 2019, at the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta.
Titled “The Internet of Things for Sustainability is Smart Business,” the conference drew more than 400 registered attendees and explored catalysts to examine some of the key promises and challenges that relate to the application of IoT technologies toward building a sustainable world. The conference also aimed to address different aspects of IoT, and how this technology could be used in multiple industries, from energy to transportation, financial services to healthcare, and environment to smart cities.
“We need to be rooted in technology because it’s complex,” said Alain Louchez, managing director of the Georgia Tech CDAIT. “However, solving related human and business problems, a critical focus at CDAIT, are paramount to a successful IoT deployment. At the end of the day, regardless of the inherent beauty of the technological solution, effectively and efficiently meeting customers’ present and future needs remains the acid test for IoT.”
IoT connects a wide range of devices with smart capabilities and is increasingly seen as a core component of corporate and societal digital transformation. Sustainability or sustainable development – that which meets “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” according to the United Nations Brundtland Report — is now viewed by businesses as mission critical.
Conference attendees included business, academic and government leaders who are working to bring cohesion and greater development of IoT across various business sectors. Bilel Jamoussi, chief of the Study Groups Department, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Standardization Bureau, opened the conference with a video message from Geneva. He was followed by Schmid’s address and one of two roundtables which addressed how IoT technologies could be a game changer for sustainability as well as education and training needed to meet business objectives. Participants also attended five break-out sessions focused on government regulation and policy, design and operation of smart buildings and smart homes, sustainable manufacturing, supply chain and logistics and consumer products.
According to the World Economic Forum, IoT could become a game-changer for sustainability because of its technology. IoT is about measuring and remotely controlling things that were previously unconnected, reaching people and objects that technology could previously not reach, and in the process, it also supports sustainable development elements.