Will IoT make you smarter at work?

We’re thinking a lot about IoT these days. Which isn’t exactly surprising! Our IoT residency program kicked off in September and we’re hosting seven of the most innovative IoT startups from all over the world in our campuses in Berlin and Krakow, where they’ll be taking their solutions to the next level by joining forces with Deutsche Telekom’s IoT Creators

One place IoT feels like it could change everything is the workplace, with the automation it offers begging one obvious question: if machines cover the dumb stuff, will we be forced to be smarter at work – tackle complex questions and think more creatively and innovatively? We discussed all things work-related with Michał Olszewski, the co-founder of Arktikus, an IoT company which automates temperature tracking in a professional refrigeration environment.

We also spoke to business development and strategic partnerships lead Marcela Mogilska from AISight, which develops AI-powered vibration sensors which detect machine failures and minimize unplanned downtime in the manufacturing industry.

Will IoT reduce our labour, or at least our costs?

How can IoT reduce business costs?

Michal (Arktikus): IoT reduces costs in multiple ways. In our case, the most obvious value lies in automating mundane, repeatable tasks done by people – thus freeing limited assets (like time or attention) for other, more valuable activities. Automated temperature measurements are also immune to costly human errors. But most importantly, deploying an IoT-based monitoring system like ours prevents waste and reduces food spoilage: this is a big advantage for both the environment and users’ bank accounts.

Marcela (AISight): That’s a great example. There are plenty of other applications, too. In the manufacturing industry, IoT saves money by lowering the overall maintenance costs using AI-enabled predictive maintenance solutions. On top of that, it can contribute to increased worker safety during training and repairs; bridging the gap between floor workers and executives; identifying and resolving bottlenecks in production.as well as offering insight into daily operations. Generally speaking, Industrial IoT helps factories to become much more digital, and therefore better managed, efficient and agile. We’re talking here about the move to Industry 4.0, which is the digital transformation of manufacturing/production and related industries and value creation processes. 

AISight’s business development and strategic partnerships lead Marcela Mogilska

And what is the greatest benefit IoT brings for businesses aside from the financial side of things?

Marcela (AISight): Thanks to IoT solutions, mundane tasks can be carried out automatically, so human resources can be dedicated to more complex tasks that require personal skills, especially in terms of out-of-the-box thinking. For example, thanks to AiSight, instead of running around the factory and putting out (metaphorical!) fires, the maintenance staff can monitor all the machines in the facility right from their desk. As a result, employees can focus on the tasks that matter.  

Michal (Arktikus): And besides focus, I would say that the greatest benefit is having a massive number of distributed data sources and connected devices that when deployed together create a value greater than the sum of its contents. While it’s nice to use IoT to have the option of very granular measurement or to control something, at some point IoT also makes it entirely possible to transform a company into a data-driven one or even autonomously governed one. And that’s huge.

This was the second in our three part series on how IoT is shaping our homes, workplaces, cities and nature. Stay tuned – follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn or sign up for our newsletter – for the third installment or click here for the last article, on how IoT is helping low-income African households access cleaner cooking fuel.

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