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Process Automation Desk. EPC 4. Doing so could yield a 10 percent project savings. Three important areas that manufacturers need to focus on are security, physical infrastructure and the logical topology. But it pays to assess whether or not you have the right parts in there and how you can make best use of new capabilities. Detailing existing and upcoming tools available free through the OpX Leadership Network, industry experts explained how they can make your entire operations run more efficiently. Though varying industrial operations call for a range of plans, the key is to be proactive about managing your operating systems.
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During a recent plant expansion, Bumble Bee Seafoods asked its machine builders to match the capabilities of the equipment with the commitment in the RFP. But some, unfortunately, fell short. Redefining Project Management.
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Manufacturers and OEMs need a more holistic approach to project management. The thermostat, blinds, and HVAC systems need a common language, and they may be produced and sold by different companies in different countries. The miniaturization of processors combined with near-universal connectivity and the falling costs of sensors, bandwidth and cloud storage makes IoT deployment feasible in an increasing number of scenarios.
The more data points, the more potential for insights. Headquartered in Richmond, B.
The company has shipped more than million machine-to-machine communication devices worldwide that are now operating on more than 80 networks globally. Sierra Wireless provides an integrated end-to-end IoT solution for its customers by providing three necessary elements:. Our roundtable participants identified a number of challenges to capitalizing on IoT opportunities. Among them were executive acceptance of IoT and big data solutions, availability of qualified talent, unclear privacy and security implications and legacy connectivity infrastructure.
The Promise and Pitfalls of the Internet of Things in Canada
To spur adoption of IoT solutions by business and create an environment more conducive to IoT innovation, stakeholders will have to unite to address these challenges. Governments will also have to assess whether they will wait for the private sector to move forward on infrastructure needs, or take a proactive stance: to accelerate IoT adoption, correct market failures or revisit approaches to public goods like the radio spectrum. The attractiveness of IoT solutions for Canadian executives is primarily the potential for increased productivity and reliability, with tactical deployments such as asset tracking and security monitoring being the most common use cases.
IDC surveys have shown that 77 percent of IoT pilot projects in Canada serve such tactical purposes as opposed to broad company transformation objectives. Overall, in , IoT solutions were deployed and budgeted for by 13 percent of Canadian organizations, though 30 percent said they intended to adopt solutions by Canada is in an excellent position to capture value from IoT.
Canada has a low cost of doing business in the high-tech sector, world-class education institutions and a highly skilled workforce. Canadian companies have led in mobile and cloud adoption. However, in spite of assets and tech leadership, Canadian businesses appear to be trailing the United States and Asia Pacific in IoT adoption in many industries, including factory automation.
Canadian executives are having difficulty understanding how to deploy IoT technology in their organizations. In , the Globe and Mail reported that only 15 percent of Canadian executives surveyed by the IDC understood the potential of IoT, and 42 percent felt uncertain about adopting the technology because the return on investment is difficult to determine. While called the Internet of Things, within the entire system several technologies provide connectivity: radio-frequency identification RFID , near-field communication NFC , wireless Internet, Bluetooth and other wireless sensors.
Canada is trailing other jurisdictions when it comes to the advanced connectivity infrastructure necessary for the coming wave of connected devices. According to The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, adoption in Canada of IPv6, the broadband necessary for billions of IoT devices to connect, is lagging other countries in large part because of a lack of awareness of its importance. The forthcoming explosion in the number of connected devices, each requiring an IP address, demands far more IP addresses than IPv4 can provide.
Currently, the adoption of IPv6-enabled broadband in Canada stands at 9 percent, compared to approximately 29 percent in the United States, 23 percent in Germany and 14 percent in the UK. The world of ubiquitous connected devices will present a considerable departure from conventional engagement with the Internet, shifting from active, self-directed communication and content search to passive participation with connected devices that operate and collect information without intervention.
Innovation is likely to outstrip policy, but what about private incentives? IoT will expand the number of settings across which information is collected, and by extension, the amount of information being collected. Starting with de-identified information about credit card purchases, researchers were able to identify 90 percent of individuals from a sample of over one million by cross-referencing the data with publically available information.
Ultimately, the cornerstone supporting business opportunities is consumer confidence that their engagement with the Internet is secure and that their privacy is protected.
Recent years have seen high-profile security vulnerabilities related to connected devices. The proliferation of connected devices means a significant rise in complexity, risk and access points for cyber attack. This presents a nightmare scenario in some domains, such as health care, where disruption of health monitoring or machine-to-machine communication can translate into physical danger. Security compromise in other contexts, like vehicles, water treatment plants or utilities also presents a threat to physical security.
The crucial issue is governance. To date, firms delivering services through the Internet have often downloaded the risks to consumers. For a given consumer, the marginal risk of connecting to one more network and perhaps being unaware of it will guarantee that they continue to do so, but it only requires one breach to create significant problems. Modern commercial buildings include thousands of smart devices such as heating and security systems that require complex networks of cables, Ethernet and protocols. These networks allow for enhanced security and comfort, but also present new cyber security concerns and problems to troubleshoot.
Vancouver-based Optigo Networks offers networking hardware products capable of connecting thousands of smart devices on a property using optical cabling along with a web interface to centrally manage the entire network. Optigo has also developed a web interface that can identify problems in network communications based on protocol standards and help building operators anticipate problems. Canada has a talent shortage in IoT- and big data-related positions. This is a subset of a wider trend: ICTC predicts that Canadian ICT-driven companies will experience an aggregate shortfall of , skilled employees by The new technologies, business models and insights resulting from IoT and its vast amounts of data require a labour pool with advanced technical education and blended skill sets.
With IoT will come the need to intelligently parse through mounds of information in order to gain actionable insights that lead to competitive advantages.
Among companies competing in the same industry, their competitive positions will depend in part upon their abilities to find and retain the talent to do this. Thomas Levi is an example of a professional with the skills top companies in IoT and big data will require. Levi is the Director of Data Science for Vancouver-based Unbounce , a software company providing marketers with customizable website landing pages.
His post-doctoral studies were in cosmology and string theory, where he wrote 19 papers which collectively received hundreds of citations. While at POF. Deriving accurate, actionable insight from that volume of data is a significant challenge. Errors and incorrect assumptions can lead to poor decision-making and ultimately an erosion of revenue and market share.
Levi employed advanced testing methodologies such as null hypothesis testing, sequential probability ratio testing, multi-armed bandits, and Bayesian sequential test design, balancing the pros and cons of each, in order to give management the best opportunity to make reality-based decisions. Developing best practices, talent initiatives and policies conducive to the development of IoT requires collaboration among citizen and non-profit advocates, post-secondary institutions, investors, IoT product and service suppliers and industry.
The government is in a position to convene roundtables on IoT and data governance to bring these stakeholders together. Topics of investment, talent development, open data initiatives, standards, incentives and regulation should be discussed with two intentions:. For clarity and transparency purposes, the government should report on plans and progress towards an improved tech ecosystem as part of the Innovation Agenda. Governments and the private sector must pay close attention to both immigration and departures for opportunities in other countries.
For the former, this includes annual immigration levels, priorities and the experience of coming to Canada temporarily and permanently across all level of government; everything from the federal application to the municipal system for finding schools for children can impact the decision-making process for top talent. In the long-term, Canada should move to improve social mobility, particularly for Indigenous communities. Government is in a position to design and execute strategic employment and investment plans related to IoT, including issues of talent and labour mobility, early education programs that emphasize math and science, secondary education programs with a focus on information technology and business and co-op programs for ICT companies and IoT-driven companies.
The policy options should be aligned with the aforementioned roadmap, and build on the Digital Canada and Innovation Agenda partnerships, work-to-date and findings. IoT-enabled devices, processes and business models will soon become the norm for companies across the globe. Canadian executives will have to discover IoT deployment opportunities for their industries, and begin experimenting with solutions.
SME leadership should view IoT and big data as an evolution of business analytics. Tactical objectives such as optimization, supply chain management or asset tracking can deliver cost advantages and lead to questions about additional business applications, interoperability opportunities or new revenue possibilities. As a default, business leaders should start with practical use cases, become agile with technology experimentation and continuously assess the transformational potential of IoT for their business and revenue models.
At large companies, Director-level training must include strategic planning for seeking, adopting and defending against IoT-enabled products, services and business models. This capacity-building should, in turn, inform demands on government for granting models and policy reforms that help enable investment and innovation in this area. No one is an island in the connected world, and nobody is safer than the weakest link. Every organization must take an anticipatory stance to security. In order to succeed, it is critical that they follow cybersecurity best practices including the embedding of security discussions in the entire product and service development process, remaining current with security technology, thoroughly understanding all vulnerabilities in the organization and industry, providing continuous security-related education programs and maintaining up-to-date security crisis response plans.
Governments, the private sector and watchdog groups must work together to establish the right balance of regulations, standards, incentives and best practice-sharing for creating a predictable, reliable foundation for IoT investment in Canada. Specifically, the federal government should commit immediately to convening and leading a broad coalition of stakeholders, security agencies, NGOs, experts and industry to identify and correct market failures in the IT security ecosystem.
Industry and higher education institutions need to collaborate directly, on an ongoing basis, to develop programs that meet the needs of companies today and create awareness of lucrative technology- and data-related careers.