The importance of real-time decisions

The mass connectivity enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) has ushered in a whole new era of fast, intelligent business decisions.  

Real-time decision-making is anywhere from single-digit milliseconds to upwards of half a minute. Empowering stakeholders to respond and act immediately, based on rich data generated by their IoT fleet.   

This capability underpins the core value of IoT, driving efficiency, innovation and safety.

In this article, we explore the vital role of real-time decision-making in IoT deployments. And how to overcome associated security and data privacy concerns. 

IoT enables real-time decision making 

To enable quick and accurate decisions, several foundational factors must be in place in your IoT suite.  

Data collection: IoT devices continuously generate data. Whether this is in the form of environmental sensors, or glucose monitoring devices. Essentially, all the raw data from these devices mark the beginnings of the decision-making process.  

Connectivity: Without reliable forms of connectivity, IoT devices have no means of sharing data collected. Connectivity types range from ethernet, to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cellular, satellite, and more. Each with their own advantages depending on your specific requirements and use cases.  

Data storage: Typically, IoT devices do not contain sufficient storage for large amounts of data generated. This requires secure storage solutions (e.g. cloud services) that can refine decision making processes with quick access to both current and historical data. 

Data analysis: Advanced analytics and algorithms can be applied to the data. This makes it easier to identify patterns, anomalies, and trends that can inform decisions. Reports and visualization software can help interpret data in context, allowing stakeholders to understand its significance and relevance.  

Advantages of real-time decisions 

By harnessing the valuable insights provided by IoT, organizations can overhaul, streamline and automate operations. This includes increasing operational efficiency, reducing costs, and uncovering new revenue streams. 

Real-time decision-making is of paramount importance for several reasons:  

Instant responses: In dynamic and time-critical situations, fast decisions enable instant responses and ensures that actions are taken promptly. For example, concrete monitoring devices on key infrastructure can alert someone to act before problems, such as stress fractures, even appear. Vibration sensors under a patient’s mattress can alert healthcare providers if movement patterns deviate from the norm.

Operational efficiencies: With a constant stream of reliable data, organizations across the value chain are given deeper insights into their operations. Allowing them to enhance operational efficiencies by streamlining processes, reducing delays and eliminating downtime.  

Enhanced worker safety and security: For applications like industrial control systems on wearables on construction sites, real-time decisions can prevent accidents, protecting workers and preventing threats from escalating. 

Improve customer experience: Enriched data allows organizations to customize their services to current preferences and evolving needs. Considering how rapidly technology and its context is evolving, an IoT connectivity solution should not be static or a one-size-fits-all approach. 

Final thoughts 

In sum, real-time decision-making paves the way for innovation and long-term sustainable growth, as well as seizing new opportunities for success.  

By analysing historical and real-time data, organizations can also act on emerging trends and create new products and services. This data can also be fed into AI/ML algorithms to predict future trends. 

IoT and real-time decision-making capabilities are also not limited to specific industries. In fact, anyone can benefit from these features. 

A noteworthy example is the use of IoT data for predictive maintenance in hazardous environments such as mines or oil rigs. Organizations can proactively schedule maintenance when necessary. This reduces truck rolls, minimizes downtime brought on by equipment failure, and improves safety of maintenance workers. 

At the same time, even small mom and pop stores can benefit from automatic inventory management to reduce mistakes arising from human error, or better customer satisfaction from keeping up with customer demands. The possibilities are endless. 

Such data-backed decisions are the driving force behind organizations staying competitive in swiftly evolving markets while fostering a culture of ongoing improvement. 

Reach out to us to discuss how we can create bespoke IoT solutions that balance your business, engineering, and regulatory compliance needs.

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