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Interoperability is a critical source of value in IoT systems

One of the central findings from our sizing exercise is the importance of interoperability in generating maximum value from IoT applications. We estimate that situations in which two or more IoT systems must work together can account for about 40 percent of the total value that can be unlocked by the Internet of Things.8 In our estimation of IoT’s maximum potential, we have included the benefits of interoperability;

Without these benefits, the maximum value of the applications we size would be only about $7 trillion per year in 2025, rather than $11.1 trillion (Exhibit 2). Some of the largest benefits of interoperability might be realized in the worksites setting, where the percentage of total value requiring interoperability approaches 60 percent. This large potential reflects the complexity and interconnectedness of the equipment.

For example, there can be 30,000 sensors on an offshore oil rig. Much of the data collected by these sensors today is used to monitor discrete machines or systems. Individual equipment manufacturers collect performance data from their own machines and the data can be used to schedule maintenance. Interoperability would significantly improve performance by combining sensor data from different machines and systems to provide decision makers with an integrated view of performance across an entire factory or oil rig.

Our research shows that more than half of the potential issues that can be identified by predictive analysis in such environments require data from multiple IoT systems. Oil and gas experts interviewed for this research estimate that interoperability could improve the effectiveness of equipment maintenance in their industry by 100 to 200 percent.

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