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Lessons from IoT Evolution Expo

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to be involved in a panel discussion at the IoT Evolution Expo in Orlando, Fla. The focus of the panel discussion was around how IoT is driving sustainability. It was interesting to see and discuss the two different talk tracts around this topic. On one side, there was the topic of how the industrial internet of things is driving sustainability in farming, agriculture, irrigation and water supply, for example, and on the other side there was the topic of how IIoT is helping companies across multiple industries to become more sustainable in volatile global markets.

Innovation with new sensor technologies, like groundwater hydration sensors or the use of drones to be able to specifically see exactly what areas of crops are getting properly irrigated, are definitely at the top of the list of IIoT driving sustainability in these areas. We have moved far beyond the concept of the “connected cow.” On the other side, the discussions were tremendous about how brick-and-mortar companies have been able to drive new revenue streams by way of new digital technologies and services they can provide to their customers.

For example, there was a use case where a 140-year-old company that had traditionally built farming equipment was able to initiate a digital offering in the agriculture market to provide tracking of all types of mobile farming equipment, including things like mobile eyewash stations, balers, planters and so forth. This new revenue steam was able to save the company from going out of business — and even enabled it to hire more staff.

These stories reminded me of a something that Einstein once said: “Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”

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