Internet-connected sensors – which transform physical objects and machines into fast, smart collectors and communicators of data – are the nuts and bolts of the new IoT industrial age. They enable organizations to capture information more quickly, raise efficiency and improve response times.
This is improvement at a basic operational level – and IoT projects of this nature are already well underway in many organizations in Europe (a Cognizant-sponsored survey in 2017 showed that 60% of companies have taken IoT on board).
Many enterprises wish to take IoT a step further, and use it to drive innovation. This means forging connections between enterprise and operational data to create a single view of analytical data.
How RPA can power IoT
It’s at this stage that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has a key role to play. Once IoT solutions are in place, many organizations still rely heavily on human judgment and intervention to keep processes on track. RPA is more efficient. It can be used to identify anomalies in data streams from IoT devices, and correct the problem before the data enters the organization’s business processes – where errors would otherwise have to be corrected manually, negating any potential efficiency gains. In service industries, chatbots are already a familiar element at touchpoints with the customer, and robotic helpers have an equally important role to play as “back-office staff” to keep IoT information flows on track. Safety monitoring, supply chain tracking and ERP management are all areas where organizations can blend RPA and IoT to build in an autonomous response to events and create a smart, responsive ecosystem.
This is the essential foundation to integrate Artificial Intelligence, and make the transition to responsive, self-learning platforms that can create and power new business models.
Many companies need help in integrating data from end-point devices in factories and along supply chains with enterprise systems and RPA. And they’re not shy about asking for it. Cognizant’s survey showed that, in Switzerland, almost four in five companies collaborate with IT companies on designing and prototyping solutions.
For best-practice insights on how Cognizant has supported companies in IoT, you can also download this Cognizant white paper: it shows how 14 organizations across various industries are using IoT to generate actionable intelligence to the benefit of their business.