As we continue to be more and more connected, the volume of data at our fingertips continues to grow exponentially. But has this made us smarter? Data does not quite equate to insight or intelligence. Our phones, TVs, and soon our watches will all be connected to the Internet and constantly tap us into information. The Internet of Things (IoT) has opened up a new world of data points that have the opportunity to transform a number of industries, if used for good. Specifically, IoT has great value for service management and field service.
The many “rights” of field service (e.g., right tech, right part, right answer) depend on a number of factors to work in real-time. The intelligence enabled through IoT provides the service organization with the ability to get the process of executing on service correct on a first visit.
Despite all of the press and excitement over IoT, I see improved resolution as the true value proposition of this advancement in technology. As seen in my recent research Evolution of Smart Service: Connected to the Future of Resolution (March 2015), the Best-in-Class stated that one year from now 9.3% more service dispatches will be initiated or guided to resolution by automated, remote diagnostics. And these numbers will most likely increase once more machines are connected as currently only about half of the assets for the Best-in-Class are connected.
The cool factor of IoT is what makes the headlines, but the value comes from how IoT can make us smarter at how we resolve issues and interact with customers. This topic won’t go away anytime soon. As reported by others, the number of connected devices will only continue to multiply (I am not “smart” enough to see too far into the future). But when we get to 2020, I hope 1. I will be wiser, and 2. That IoT will have helped us create service and service offerings which solve customer problems before they even feel a dip in productivity. The Best-in-Class already understand this story, the rest of us will hopefully catch up sooner than our forecasts.