I recently saw a Reddit thread where the question, “What would you do if you could go back in time 5 minutes?” was posed to the community. There were a number of silly and creative answers, but it was clear from the numerous clever responses that having even just five minutes of foresight – knowledge of what would transpire in the future – could be used for an individual’s benefit (sometimes rather maliciously).
It’s a theme and question that we see repeated perpetually online and even in pop culture. Remember in Back to the Future 2, when Marty McFly grabs a copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac when he’s traveling to the future (2015, to be specific)? He gets that almanac so that he can go back to 1985 and use the information to wager on sports for his own benefit.
But the ability to know what’s going to happen in the future can be extremely profitable – even if it doesn’t involve sports betting and time travel. That’s especially the case for facilities managers, building owners and manufacturers.
For companies that make products, the time that installed equipment isn’t functioning is effectively robbing them of money. If the assembly line goes down, products aren’t being produced, productivity is being lost and there are less units being created for the customer or for sale.
The same can be said for building owners and facilities managers. If you’re a facility manager operating a data center, the loss of cooling or electricity for prolonged periods could be catastrophic. Online sales are lost or customer SLAs are violated. For companies that own their own buildings, if employees need to be sent home because there’s no functioning heat or air conditioning, productivity is lost and the company is left paying employees with no return on that investment.
But what if you – the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) – could identify that their installed equipment was about to fail and work collaboratively with the equipment owner to proactively keep it from happening? What if the air conditioner, or the assembly line equipment, or the elevator that failed didn’t take days to repair and get back into service?
That’s the benefit that cloud enabled equipment can deliver to the end user.
By cloud-enabling installed equipment in a building or factory, you – the OEM that made the equipment – can monitor that equipment and notify the owner should problems arise. With the cloud, you could spot troubling behaviors and identify problems before they lead to downtime. Or, should a piece of equipment fail, you can figure out why in advance of service call to ensure that the technician that responds is prepared with the parts and skills necessary to get it fixed the first time.
It may not have helped you place a large wager on the (real life) Cubs to win the ( real life) World Series in 2016, but cloud-enabled equipment can provide manufacturers and facilities managers with the foresight and knowledge they need to keep everything running and help their bottom line. You don’t have to be a “Doc” to see the benefits.