The Internet of Things is likely the top priority of businesses and governments everywhere. Whenever it comes up, two concerns usually accompany it:
- Upgrading technology is costly.
- Existing equipment has years, even decades, of use left.
Replacing heavy equipment is expensive
A common assumption is that it’s necessary to spend fortunes replacing equipment and infrastructure to keep up with technology and business needs. This is partly because the replacement cycles of devices, appliances and “things” move rapidly in the consumer market.
Office, industrial and manufacturing equipment, however, has replacement cycles measured over decades, not years. Average heavy equipment lifespans range from three to six decades, and since collecting valuable data on equipment is a recent phenomenon, replacing existing equipment with IoT-enabled technology isn't always an option.
Retrofitting cuts the cost of upgrading
Retrofitting allows you to implement IoT solutions on legacy equipment so you can keep pace with business and consumer needs at a lower cost.
While new equipment is often built with sensors and connected to the IoT, it’s more practical for organizations to add sensors by retrofitting current equipment and infrastructure. Nearly anything can be retrofitted to deliver the same benefits as IoT-ready equipment for a fraction of the cost.
THE Benefits of enabling infrastructure
Using the same retrofitting tools, you can begin instrumenting things other than equipment. Local and state governments, for example, can benefit by enabling infrastructure. Instrumenting our roads, power lines and utility pipelines to deliver information can create incredibly valuable resources. By retrofitting infrastructure, we can enable real-time data reporting, obtain instant alerts regarding outages or breakages, collect utilization data for roads to prioritize repairs, monitor bridges for stability, and collect or report other data to maintain and improve systems.
Whether you retrofit or upgrade, the time has come to do something or risk losing your place in the market. In 2000, when the music industry failed to respond to shifts in technology and the ways customers were using their products, revenue dropped by nearly 50% worldwide. Today, we call this disruption, and every industry faces a similar situation as the Internet of Things continues to grow.