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The Internet of Things may bring a new economic boon

Patrick Thibodeau | Dec. 4, 2014
IoT is the third big technology 'wave' in the last 50 years -- and perhaps the biggest.

To illustrate, SAS is working with a truck maker and is using IoT technologies coupled with predictive analytics to determine when a part might fail. It can now predict failure 30 days in advanced and with a 90% accuracy rate, said McNeill. That type of capability is being added to high-value equipment, such as locomotives, medical equipment and oil and gas equipment, but eventually will find its way into wearables, she said.

The IoT's potential may be hard to realize because it takes imagination to consider how products change once they are enabled. What's done with the data? What services does it create? What new products emerge from it? Are you now competing on price or services (or both)?

All the recent advances -- cloud computing, mobility and big data -- either extended or replaced existing business operations, said Seth Robinson, senior director of technology analysis at IT trade association CompTIA. But with the IoT, "the greatest opportunity for a business is to do something new."

There's no map to how this may unfold and that makes some hesitant about it, said Robinson.

"That lack of [a] direct map ... highlights, actually, that there is great potential here."


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