It’s called a lot of things – the Industrial Internet, the Internet of Machines, the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s about building intelligence into equipment and products, and it’s changing the way many traditional companies run their businesses. There’s a major transformation happening, and we’re at the head of it. ALM Intelligence recently released a report naming Deloitte a leader in IoT consulting, and Gartner has named Deloitte an IoT service provider aligned with IoT practice leader characteristics. Read the press release here.
We’re pretty excited about that, where our practice is now, and where it’s heading.
Deloitte’s IoT practice has existed for over two years, but we officially launched IoT services within Deloitte Digital last year. We have IoT consultants all over the globe, from strategy operations and human capital focusing on the organizational implications of IoT; to security and privacy; to technology strategy, architecture, analytics and implementation. We’ve got a wide variety of resources to build upon and propel our IoT practice into the future
With our deep industry knowledge, we’re in a position to help clients figure out where they can find value in IoT. We’ve initially launched our IoT practice in four industry sectors: manufacturing and supply chain, life sciences and healthcare, retail and consumer products, and smart cities. We’re diving deep into what IoT typically means for each of these areas, researching use cases and potential solutions. Here are some examples:
- In the manufacturing industry, we’re building solutions to embed sensors in equipment so companies can better understand their health and proactively maintain them. This has the potential to not only improve field service effectiveness, but enable companies to offer as-a-service business models, fundamentally changing their value proposition.
- In healthcare, embedding sensors in medical devices enables a steady flow of information between patient, medical provider, medical device company, and insurance company, even when patients aren’t in the hospital. For example, care providers can monitor diabetes patients’ glucose levels in real-time through “connected” glucometers that help deliver more effective and efficient care.
- The IoT is already helping create smart cities, with real-time traffic and smart-bus and rail-logistics apps, energy-saving applications for “smart buildings,” and parking sensors that direct drivers to available capacity.
The ALM Intelligence report states, “Deloitte’s commitment to developing a greater understanding of IoT and the role it can play for both clients and non-clients, coupled with its deep expertise across IoT capabilities, secures the firm’s position in the Vanguard.”
Significant change is happening right now through IoT, and many companies realize they should get on board—but it can be overwhelming. We help clients sort through the noise by starting small with a project that offers demonstrated ROI and tangible benefits. We have a broad set of service offerings and the creative experience to help our clients throughout the lifecycle of projects–from ideation, innovation and strategy; to pilots and prototypes; to building projects to scale and implementing them.
Most of the R&D happens in our Bangalore, Denver and Seattle studios through an agile and rapid prototyping process. In these studios, we have access to engineers, cloud-based platforms, and sensor kits that allow us to quickly create mock-ups and prototypes to show clients what’s possible. If the solution seems like it’s working, we iterate on it, tweak it, enhance it, and work with others to scale the project. Or if it isn’t working, we scrap it and start over. But companies can experiment without investing millions of dollars and extensive resources right off the bat. Starting small, starting fast, but getting started—that’s the key.
The ALM Intelligence report states, “Deloitte’s strength in IoT IT consulting is evident from the firm’s robust capabilities that highlight educating both clients and non-clients on the potential of IoT through workshops, prototypes and research.”
And it’s true. We are intent on researching the opportunities that lie in IoT and educating others. We’ve published several reports on what the IoT means for business and its potential applications in various industries. And we’re developing innovation labs in each industry to help existing and prospective clients determine the value and how to get started. In Chicago, we have three experiential centers that we walk clients through: The IoT Lab, where we demonstrate solutions we’ve built, and the Doblin Innovation Unit and Deloitte Greenhouse, where we craft and tailor IoT experiences to individual client needs and hold ideation sessions and workshops.
Especially in this complex and rapidly evolving environment, a robust and vibrant ecosystem is key. We have the ability to offer companies end-to-end services, and that is in large part due to the breadth of our collaborations. We have several strategic alliances that are helping us go where we want to go.
We also engage with clients in non-traditional business arrangements, from value-based billing to teaming with companies and investing in new business models together. Collaboration is essential to discovering new opportunities and achieving what’s possible.
The IoT is enabling companies to transform their operating processes and business models in ways we haven’t seen before. There’s a confluence of innovations that have led us to this point—the reduction in the size and cost of sensors, the ubiquity of mobile devices and connectivity, the availability of cloud platforms to ingest and process data. These factors have enabled IoT solutions that weren’t economically viable or even practical in the past.
We are excited about what this means for the future. With things like operational efficiencies, energy-savings, and improvements in patient care, the possibilities are significant. And we are committed to determining what those possibilities are: From self-driving cars to data-driven farming, there are lots of opportunities made possible by the IoT, and we are planning to help our clients realize them.
Andy Daecher is Deloitte Digital’s IoT Practice Leader, with more than 25 years of experience in the high-tech industry