Five Ways To Improve Your Enterprise Asset Management

We stand on the edge of Industry 4.0. Soon, an Internet of Things platform that incorporates Big Data, analytics, and artificial intelligence will disrupt business as we know it. To survive, your organization needs to modernize its methods of managing assets over their lifecycles. In other words, you need to improve your enterprise asset management (EAM). Here are five ways to do just that and ensure your organization flourishes in Industry 4.0.

  1. Utilize real-time insights: By utilizing real-time insights, companies can optimize their enterprise asset management. Real-time insights allow organizations to implement agile maintenance strategies. Agile maintenance will ensure your organization does not perform more maintenance than needed, minimizing downtime and cost. Real-time insights also allow organizations to experiment with their operations, adjusting the performance of assets in real-time.
  1. Implement prediction and simulation: By using predictive software, your organization can see the outcome of every possible decision when wondering how to utilize assets. This allows you to be aware of unexpected outcomes, improving reliability and enabling stress-free operations. As well as awareness, an identifiable outcome increases efficiency by eliminating costly approval processes. More importantly, predictive software can reduce risks for every employee in your organization.
  1. Increase agility: Your organization’s EAM processes need to pick up speed to excel in the digital economy. By implementing software that shortens the time it takes for processes like onboarding, your organization can keep up with your industry. You should use new organizational ecosystems to optimize asset implementation or quickly acquire new business models. This allows you to act on opportunities and enter new markets in much less time than it takes with today’s systems.
  1. Simplify solution deployment: With new assets to take advantage of every day, you must be able to implement them before managing them. Now, companies can choose to deploy new solutions in-house, in the cloud, or through a combination of the two. If you utilize cloud solutions, you won’t need to waste time implementing expensive hardware. This will lower your need for costly maintenance and replacement, freeing up both budget and IT resources for value-adding activities.
  1. A consumer-grade user experience: For your employees to accept updates to your EAM, you must offer them within an engaging, easy-to-understand user experience. After all, the implementation of new software is only as quick as the time it takes for your average employee to understand it. Invest in solutions that can be adapted for use across multiple platforms in any part of your organization. By driving adoption through increasing engagement, your organization can increase productivity.

As you can see, improving your organization’s enterprise asset management is a matter of implementing these five foundational improvements. By selecting a solution that focuses on all five, you can future-proof your organization.

SAP’s enterprise asset management software offers all five and much more. Click here to learn more about how we can improve your enterprise asset management.


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Five ways remote access will transform everything from cashpoints to living rooms

As a digital economy breaks down boundaries between industries, supply chains, employees and customers, we will see new remote access technology creating interconnectivity between companies, workers and consumers in 2018. Company support staff will be able to ‘remote in’ to cars and set-top boxes, delivering connected customer support across millions of IoT devices from the road to the living room. Workers will increasingly ‘remote into’ devices in other departments, divisions or training centres, creating cross-departmental collaboration, learning and oversight, says Adam Byrne, COO at RealVNC.

Future remote access technology will even enable remote human intervention in vehicles, creating interconnected transport ecosystems where everyone from technicians to fleet managers can ‘remote in’ to cars to fix faults, warn drivers, reduce emissions or even view police car chases in real-time from any location.

Below RealVNC outlines five ways remote access is set to transform our lives:

Bank managers will help you from within cashpoints

2018 will see the transformation of the cashpoint into a smart, all-seeing, all-doing ‘bank in a box’ that enable people to obtain audio or video support from bank managers, deposit coins and even make ‘cardless’ withdrawals without ever entering a branch.

The key will be the creation of ‘smart’ cashpoints that replicate bank branches, by using the remote access technology that IT help desks use to allow bank staff to ‘log in’ to ATMs and guide customers through transactions in real-time. Crucially, banks will be able to see inside the ATM and fix faults or remotely update and even upgrade cashpoints from any location.

Banks are particularly sensitive to the loss of an older customer demographic because these are also the wealthiest customers and they are the most resistant to automation and branch closures due to the loss of human interaction. Financial institutions face the dilemma of ensuring that branch closures do not impact a lucrative market segment that attaches considerable importance to customer service and human interaction. Remote access technology will now enable banks to automate services without losing the human touch.

Trainees and support staff will be able to ‘remote in’ to training centres and even living rooms

As the digital economy increasingly pulls down the barriers between geographies, sectors and people, we will begin to see companies and consumers using remote access technology to deliver real-time, remote customer support inside everything from data centres to living rooms.

Already, some pioneering enterprises are reaching out into customer homes by enabling staff to ‘remote in’ to TV set-top boxes and deliver real-time customer support from any location. Other companies are conversely allowing customers to ‘log in’ to training servers in other countries and receive virtual training from any location in the world.

The same is happening for workers. Some enterprises will allow real-time interconnectivity between tens of thousands of employee devices by enabling employees to ‘remote into’ everything from ‘smartboards’ to tablets across departments in real-time, creating cross-sector training and collaboration and allowing companies to oversee and enforce policies from anywhere, on the move.

Vehicle fleets will be remote-controlled

The combination of remote access technology and live telematics data means […]

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Blogs – IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business

Medical device security: Three ways you can act to reduce the risk

If 2017 was about ransomware attacks, 2018 will be about cyber attacks on the Internet of Things (aka medical devices). As we begin the year, that’s the message we’re hearing from a number of sources. This should come as no surprise to those of us in the healthcare industry, given the recent attention on devices […]
IoT – Cisco Blog

Three Ways Commodity Trading Benefits From IoT

A business’ growth requires innovation and new uses of technology. As more individuals turn to the Internet of Things (IoT) as a resource, its use in commodity trading will grow. Businesses must understand the advantages of using IoT to meet client expectations and improve the company’s goals for the future.

Improved demand and supply sensing with IoT

A key advantage of IoT in commodity trading is the opportunity to keep up with supply and demand while maintaining high-quality products. Business Insider says that IoT technology distills the complex tools used by a company into a single, coherent ecosystem. By setting up a system with a coherent technological connection, a business improves the quality sampling while identifying problems within the sampling.

In commodity trading, supply and demand is a key part of the business. A business must ship quality products to the correct location by a set time. Weather drones, online applications, and satellite images can enable a business to accurately estimate when a commodity will arrive at a specific destination, giving the company a competitive edge around supply and demand.

Weather forecasting with drones and satellites also enables commodity producers to improve operations and, therefore, supply. Monitoring the weather enables food commodity producers to set schedules around the ideal weather conditions for growing and harvesting plants. It also enables mining and oil rig operators to identify weather conditions that could cause safety or other concerns that slow product supply. By forecasting the weather and using IoT technology to estimate the impact of poor weather on supply, a company can take preventative measures to address potential problems.

The Internet of Things uses real-time and historical data to help commodity companies develop an accurate image of the current market and reduces risk by identifying customer buying patterns and anticipating changes in demand. The business keeps up with customer demands by analyzing historical data, real-time information, and key information from an array of sources through IoT tools and applications. Machines and software use data analysis to predict customer demands and develop a strategy to supply the commodity to appropriate locations.

The Internet of Things provides real-time data, which means the business has access to details related to breakdowns, delays, or other problems that may arise in the delivery of a product. It ensures that commodities arrive in a timely manner by addressing problems or delays.

Big Data used in IoT applications works on a global and local scale. By identifying the demand for a commodity in a local area, a business sets an appropriate premium for a commodity and optimizes company profits. Optimized pricing through supply management and demand analysis drives the value of a commodity.

Optimized routes and using IoT in freight

Transportation is a key part of selling a commodity. Since commodity trading relates to food items, like coffee beans and cocoa beans, as well as other necessities like metals, a business must obtain proper transportation for the goods. The Internet of Things gives a company opportunities to optimize the routes for their product transportation.

Businesses can use the online system to determine the best routes for the transportation of goods. It allows the business to bypass areas with heavy traffic or potential complications for the transportation of items. It also ensures that the business stays up-to-date with roadwork, construction projects, or other problems that may slow the transport of commodities.

When a business uses freight for transportation, it optimizes Big Data and technology to improve its logistics and commodity management. Bulk freight businesses expand beyond Internet and data management when using IoT applications or tools, says Lloyd’s Loading List. Wireless technology allows a company providing bulk freight services to enhance the company. A business may use computers, robotic tools, and other devices to keep up with demands and ensure proper management of commodities.

Setting up sensors in freight expedites the process and reduces the risk of late deliveries. By avoiding late deliveries through an organized system and sensors on the packages, a business does not need to replace commodities and faces fewer penalties. The sensors help reduce the risk of losing business or paying late delivery fees in the bulk freight industry.

IoT technology can disrupt existing logistics strategies. Developing applications for clients and company employees provides an opportunity to speed services and engage directly with clients. Lloyd’s Loading List reports that companies using IoT to develop their business gain visibility, which provides new opportunities for long-term growth.

Expansion into new markets

Expansion is a goal of any company working with commodity trading. Technological advances in IoT provide an opportunity for businesses to expand into new markets, says Business Insider. The data obtained with IoT technology allows a company to identify potential markets with limited competition for a commodity.

Online tools and access to a greater amount of data give the company a pattern for expansion. By analyzing data and following through with additional research into local environments, a company determines when it has room to move into a new market. Connectivity within the company also provides a chance to quickly access data and make decisions about a potential market. Companies can also use this data to make decisions about new products or commodities to sell in the future.

The Internet of Things plays a key role in the future of commodity trading. It improves productivity, provides opportunities for further growth, and optimizes the routes used to transport a commodity. The key is recognizing the applications of IoT technology and then implementing a plan of action that works with the goals of the company.

Learn how to bring new technologies and services together to power digital transformation by downloading The IoT Imperative for Consumer Industries. Explore how to bring Industry 4.0 insights into your business today by reading Industry 4.0: What’s Next?


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Internet Of Things: Five Ways To Overcome Security Challenges

The promise, benefits, and value of the Internet of Things (IoT) have been documented extensively, but a number of widely publicized IoT attacks leaves the impression that the IoT is deeply insecure. What is often not mentioned is that many of these attacks originated due to failures in implementing basic protections.

But even where the vendor has taken reasonable precautions, things can go horribly wrong, as can be seen in a – literally – fly-by attack on smart lighting.

Another challenge is that IoT-enabled devices are deployed “where the action is” – the factory floor, oil platforms, public roads, offices, stores, moving vehicles, or in cities running over wireless networks.

That means that they are often physically accessible by employees, contractors, and even the general public. If we compare that to modern cloud data centers, where only authorized personnel can enter, there is a substantial difference. More people with access means the risk of compromise goes up, so we may need to ensure devices themselves are physically protected against tampering.

But these are not insurmountable obstacles. The question is less one of not knowing what to do to protect IoT environments, rather how to implement and apply security measures to keep the solution safe.

Five recommendations for securing the IoT

1. Manage risk

Modern security practices follow a risk-based approach that considers both the ease of an attack and the impact should one happen – giving a strong indicator of how much security you’ll need. The reality is that an IoT solution that monitors, manages, and optimizes operations in a chemical factory requires much tighter security protocols than one that simply turns off the light in a conference room when sensors detect nobody is present. In the former, a successful attack could lead to a catastrophic industrial accident including injury and loss of life. In the latter, the worst that could happen is that an electricity bill is a little higher.

2. Limit device-to-device communication

There is a misconception that the Internet of Things, by definition, means that many devices are connected to many other devices, increasing the risk that a successful attack leads to catastrophic failure or takeover of a substantial portion of your IoT infrastructure. In many cases, devices have a single purpose and only need to send the data they collect to a single location. By limiting the number of IoT devices that talk to each other, we can better secure each one and limit the damage should any breaches occur.

3. Retain control over your IoT infrastructure

The risk is yours – any failure in security is your responsibility and you will be held accountable for the result – so it is important to maintain control. This starts with device selection: Make sure that devices either have the security features you need or, preferably, are “open” so you can analyze and understand how they work, and then add any features you need to fill security gaps. This includes the ability to update devices in an automated and secure way and to control that process yourself.

4. Use encryption from end to end

It’s critical to encrypt communication between devices and data-ingestion points to make sure nobody can listen in, tamper with sensitive data in transit, or recover enough information to spoof or impersonate the device and feed the system manipulated data. Modern encryption techniques work in much the same way as HTTPS does to protect information online. Encryption also needs to be tied to device identity to ensure the data we think comes from a particular device actually does.

5. Leverage existing expertise

Apply proven security technologies, tools, and best practices used in traditional IT landscapes. In many cases, they can be implemented directly: by using digital certificates or equivalent, by restricting what IoT devices can do and communicate with, and by adding protection and monitoring mechanisms. In other cases, such as micro-controllers and low-power networks, we may need to apply new techniques, but we can draw on existing principles and concepts.

IoT adoption is still in early days. Unfortunately, that means that there aren’t many established standards yet, and while the number of devices brought to market is quickly rising, certification schemes and regulations are lagging. As a result, adopters still need to carefully plan and build in security from the start and properly evaluate any IoT equipment brought in house.

As large technology providers recognize the security challenges with new IoT technologies and software solutions, the situation is rapidly improving. At SAP, we’re also committed to both describing the pitfalls and providing clear guidelines to overcome them.

This article originally appeared on the SAP Community.


Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine