Though the high seas action of a competitive regatta and the halls of your office may not seem similar, those two worlds suddenly become alike when leaders in both environments use real-time data to steer critical decisions when seconds count for optimum outcomes.

As businesses race to innovate their environments and outpace industry competition, the sheer number of devices comprising the Internet of Things (IoT) – estimated to number 50 billion by 2020 – promises new levels of connectivity and an influx of critical data. This data and the resulting analytics continuously connect an expanding number of people, processes, data and things – the Internet of Everything (IoE).

Cisco recently took IoE to the decks of the Foxy Lady 6 – a fierce competitor in the Asia Yachting Grand Prix, which takes place over the span of six months. In a timeframe of two weeks, a series of IoT sensors, routers and wireless set-ups, and IoE advancements were installed to help the boat’s skipper and crew guide their race strategy and differentiate the Foxy Lady 6 as the competitor to watch.

In the past, data about various race conditions were pulled from a variety of sources. Predictably, this hodgepodge of information sources resulted in time-consuming efforts to sort, filter and organize the data that truly mattered. Now, an entire network powered by IoE solutions has changed the Foxy Lady 6’s sailing game and demonstrated the potential of mobile assets as powerful data-reporting tools for any number of enterprises.

Sponsored by Cisco Powered, the yacht was outfitted with a sensor network of components that used real-time, IoT-enabled data. Mast and rig pressure, wind strength, boat speed, tidal current strength, and water depth measurements were just a few of the Big Data measurements the team was able to use to monitor race conditions.

The Foxy Lady 6
The Foxy Lady 6

During each regatta, data collected by the Foxy Lady 6’s sensors was stored in the cloud and reviewed post-race. In many ways, the yacht was its own floating enterprise – if not a wet one – where seconds counted in making critical decisions, driven largely by data collection and analyzation. And if cutting-edge, never-been-done before IoE innovations could help a yacht crew respond to ever-changing environments and conditions, it’s safe to say it could do the same for any land-based operation.

Unpredictable markets and changing business conditions require CIOs and CEOs to respond rapidly and strategically to propel their operations forward, much like the skipper and crew of the Foxy Lady 6. Data that is at the edge, aka the fog –whether wind speeds or even inventory from a single retail store – and efficiently analyzed can assist in optimizing any number of business-altering outcomes.

Connecting the unconnected is the crux of IoT. And the network that links every device on it is the heart of IoE. Whether assets are setting sail, on the road, or cutting across the sky, organizations are even more empowered to put their mobile assets to work so data can be collected, stored, processed and shared in increasingly valuable ways.

Do you have ideas on how mobile assets could be used to achieve remarkable outcomes? Comment and share below.

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Mala Anand

No Longer with Cisco