| | JANUARY 20186How the Internet of Things can Unearth Innovation in Oil & Gas IndustryBy Allen Proithis, President, North America, SigfoxIn the Internet of Things (IoT), there are devices that scream data and devices that whisper data. Devices that scream data are energy intensive as they transport persistent data. While these devices attract much of the excitement in the segment, they are not the drivers that will ultimately contribute the connected devices anticipated mass growth. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020 more than 20.4 billion devices will be connected--and you can't get anywhere close to this number without the devices that whisper. In this case, individual pieces of data are intermittently passed, providing insight into the usage of materials and equipment. As it relates to the Oil & Gas segment, there exists a tremendous opportunity for firms to leverage these devices that whisper into data-driven decision engines to drive profitability and streamline antiquated processes for improved operational efficiencies. From the Field to the DatabaseFor CIOs in the energy industry, IoT has dramatically changed their roles and responsibilities. As in many other industries the function of the CIO has become much more about innovation than about IT. With sensors in the field, the function of the CIO becomes more of a business driver as they now can report real-time information and become a key stakeholder in the growth of the business. Whereas previously, an Oil & Gas CIO would have been tasked with setting up network infrastructure, today their work can consist of setting up an entire Machine to Machine (M2M) communications network in the field with significantly greater uptime than any human solution of machine readouts. To enable the devices that whisper data, there are several network options a CIO can choose to implement in their IoT stack, including cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LPWAN, and mesh. However, the one network that is extremely cost efficient is LPWAN due to its unique device to network communication technology, which `wakes' a device up only when it has data to transmit, the rest of the time the device is in `sleep' mode, thus lowering the OPEX cost. By lowering the cost of ownership, CIOs can scale deployment of the devices in the field, putting data at their fingertips allowing for near real-time intelligence and decision making capabilities.Allen Proithis>in my opinion
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