Innovative technology brings rapid change. The first iPhone® was released only ten years ago.1 Today, over 700 million devices2 and eight versions later3, iPhones help people track their health, monitor their children, control their smart homes while they’re at work, and more. Nine years ago, Uber did not exist. Today, the company provides more than 5.5 million rides per day4, is valued near $50 billion5, and doesn’t own the vehicles that its users share. For consumers, the growth of new opportunities in our connected economy is exciting.
Less evident, yet just as significant, are the ways in which innovative technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT), are adding value to commercial businesses. The devices in our connected economy do more than change consumers’ daily lives. In a recent poll, AIG asked global risk managers from large multinational companies what keeps them up at night. These decision makers ranked disruptive technology and cybersecurity first and second, respectively.
Corporate leaders’ deep investment in these issues is understandable, as connected devices bring new opportunities—and new risks—for businesses. While some companies may be hesitant to leverage the new opportunities of the connected economy, other businesses are capitalizing on the fact that twice as many U.S. consumers were optimistic about IoT than were fearful of it.6
Our new report, “IoT Case Studies: Firms Leading the Connected Economy,” indicates that the benefits of IoT for business are already arriving. Daimler’s driverless truck is licensed for tests on the open road. ABB’s tunnel drilling machines are wired for preventative maintenance and have already saved their users millions of dollars in unplanned downtime. John Deere’s equipment now serves farms that are connected to the cloud. Construction companies are experimenting with Human Condition Safety’s sensor technology at worksites.7
In 2016, we witnessed companies move beyond ideation to apply IoT to solve real-world challenges. Decision makers with their heads still ‘in the cloud,’ so to speak, may risk falling behind. Consider the speakers at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show — IBM, General Motors, Samsung and, for the first time, AIG — for further evidence of how companies and consumers are connecting through technology and innovation.
In conversations with AIG clients around the world, one common thread emerges in discussions of how companies can successfully implement IoT technologies: the only way to keep up is to learn from one another.
This is true within companies, where keeping pace with rapidly evolving technologies and client goals requires better communication and collaboration. Today, it is no longer sustainable for business departments overseeing research and development, product lines, information technology, financial operations, and risk management to operate independently of one another.
IoT is also fueling connections among companies. New tools, bigger data sets, and changing customer expectations are requiring companies that have never seen each other as partners — even companies that historically have competed with one another — to start sharing information and working together in order to create optimal solutions for the digital age. In today’s connected economy, IoT is even beginning to break down the barriers that once stood between industries.
By highlighting AIG clients who are implementing innovative technologies, including IoT, AIG seeks to foster discussion and collaboration within and among industries. At AIG, we believe in bringing more to our clients by providing valuable insurance products and high-quality services—and by bringing our clients together to share insights and learn from one another.
When companies’ insights and solutions become just as innovative and connected as their technology, then businesses, consumers, and our connected economy all benefit.
1 iPhone® is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. This publication is independent of and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Apple Inc.
6 AIG poll