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Industrial Internet. From Things To Processes.

Oct 2, 2015 8:00:00 AM

A Common Goal. Making Internet of Things (IoT) Work in Industrial Internet. 

All of us following the industry know that companies are largely making their products part of the industrial internet. We talk about the ‘Internet of Things’ or better yet, the ‘Internet of Everything’. The shift from products to services is on everyone's lips with `Digital Services Economy´. 

Everything will be connected!

Traditionally connectivity was about connecting to products in order to perform remote maintenance and management actions thus saving time and money. Connectivity has also been used to push data from devices – used for collecting statistics and raising alarms. This traditional product connectivity has provided businesses with enhanced possibilities to detect and rectify issues even before the end customers may experience any impact.

Well, this you already knew.

Next Potential Boost in Productivity

However, connectivity has far more to provide. For example, there is a massive potential for the next boost in productivity and process efficiency moving from things to processes.



Let me give two examples of common scenarios:

1. Advanced remote monitoring automatically produces an alarm, which is routed to a person, or observed on a console in a remote monitoring center.

People power is then used to start a maintenance/support process in another system. A service request ‘ticket’ is to be opened in a service desk system. Information about the product and the customer is collected and re-entered to perform and report tasks for completion.

2. Advanced remote monitoring produces a failure report, which suggests a self-evident replacement of a failed part.

This commands for a separate sequence of people initiating transactions for quoting and selling a spare part. Several organizational units may be involved and many manual tasks undertaken before a customer gets an action proposal. In the worst case a customer may have already bought a corresponding part on his/her own.

These scenarios could be intelligently automated for speed, effectiveness and efficiency.

When a device flags, notification should be run against predefined rules to launch sequential and parallel actions, which automatically collect the required data, and orchestrate tasks all the way. When actions are performed, data is observed, collected and enriched automatically to prepare for any steps truly requiring human intervention.

What Does This Have To Do With Internet of Things?

It has everything to do with it. The devices know and notify about their existence. They trigger the events. The things in the internet start the processes. And intelligent automation should be used to make sure the processes can continue with a smooth flow!

From Things to Processes – the ‘Internet of Services’

What are the processes that can be intelligently automated? How to identify the potential in things to processes?

  • To identify potential, you must first be able to look at processes on a high level.

  • Also, for those familiar with the principles of LEAN, one of the seven deadly wastes is waiting – waiting for an upstream process to deliver. Wait-states are a great place to look for potential.

I like to use my simple method, which I call the ‘Black Box’ process development model. You too may find it a helpful tool to identify process potential on a high level and identify the waste of wait without getting lost in details.


At Good Sign Solutions we are moving towards a world in which business process automation is a reality. 

Feel free to see  my video presentation on the Black Box process.



Janne Kivilaakso
Written by Janne Kivilaakso

VP of Solution Consulting Janne writes about business monetization, process automation, service business, industrial Internet, digitalization and business IT.

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