The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices that are embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and internet connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. It is estimated that the IoT will consist of about 30 billion objects by 2020. For contractors, IoT is something that presents both opportunities and risks.
IoT is used to relay equipment performance data so that failures are communicated the instant they happen. Data can also be used to predict failures before they happen. OEM’s are creating quite a lot of buzz in the field service industry. The main messaging being that by having an “eye in the sky” the OEM or service company can reduce the need to send a technician on site as frequently, thereby reducing costs and minimizing out of service time. Given the acute shortage of labour in the industry, anything that can help reduce service or maintenance calls would make sense to promote.
IoT is new, unproven and brings up the following points for contractors to consider:
1. Is it possible that remote monitoring results in increased service calls if the sensor data generates either false positive readings, or readings that are inconclusive?
2. Does the IoT capability expose the service provider to increased performance expectations by the building owner?
3. Does the IoT capability expose both the service provider and building owner to increased liability in the event of an accident?
4. What is the cost vs benefit of implementing an IoT platform vs using experienced technicians who follow schedules and procedures?
5. Who owns the data? The technology company? The service provider? The building owner?
OEM’s have put a stake in the ground with IoT that is here to stay. They have also given the independent contractor another angle to compete. IoT offerings by OEM’s will be expensive so independent contractors should be able to compete on price as the Microsoft Platform that FIELDBOSS is built in is IoT ready. If you would like more information about how FIELDBOSS can help you stay competitive in the world of IoT, please contact us today.
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