At last year’s ServiceNow Knowledge conference one of the buzzwords for the week was IoT (Internet of Things) and there was a lot of talk about how ServiceNow was staking a claim in the IoT space.  But what is IoT exactly and what’s ServiceNow have to do with it?

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IoT is a fascinating concept and it’s happening all around us often without our conscious awareness.  The IoT is billions of “things” connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data.  “Things” can be anything – an appliance, a vehicle, a device of some type.  These devices collect data with the help of other technologies and flow the data bi-directionally with other devices.

Some of the more common examples of IoT have quickly become household names – the Nest thermostat, Hue light bulbs, and the Ring doorbell are consumer friendly devices that capture data, send it out, and receive data back.   On a grander scale however, IoT can accomplish some incredible realizations.

A smart city may be equipped with censored trash receptacles that can monitor how full the bin is and help the city save money and resources on collecting empty bins.  Cameras on a crosswalk can gauge a pedestrians age and mobility level and extend the crosswalk time for those needing longer to cross and lower it for those fast city walkers to help the flow of traffic.  Sensors in vehicles can collect potholes dips on city streets and determine which potholes are the deepest and require the most attention.  The possibilities for IoT in a city are endless.

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Agricultural use of IoT is just as prolific.  Sensors for soil moisture and nutrients can provide farmers valuable information on their crops.  Controlling water, mist, and fertilization of crops can save farmers money and ensure optimum growth.  Self-driving tractors can be controlled remotely cutting down labor costs.  All with a little help of IoT.

Healthcare is also booming with IoT examples. A sensor implanted just under the skin that monitors blood glucose levels and can send feedback to an insulin device to help regulate a diabetic patients health status.  Swallowable sensors, the size of a vitamin, can reduce the need for colonoscopies and help diagnose health related issues like irritable bowel syndrome and colon cancers.  Smart inhalers can track patient compliance and gather data on how frequently the inhaler is used.

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Sounds like a scene from back to the future, but as cliché as it sounds – the future is now.  So back to the question of what’s ServiceNow got to do with IoT?  A general theme for all these IoT examples – providing substantial value and benefits efficiently with less cost and resources.  The fact is that each of these devices performs some set of actions, collects data about what it does and requires maintenance and support.

IoT brings IT and DevOps  together creating a an proactive, agile approach to management.

Imagine if all the assets within your organization had a geo location sensor.  The system could capture the data of assets true locations and use ServiceNow’s Asset Management application to update device locations and provide reports of assets moving without going through the proper predefined channels.  What if all the light bulbs in the building had sensors and when one of them went out, an incident was created within ServiceNow and assigned to the facilities team to fix it?  Even better, what if when it was back on, the incident was automatically resolved without ever having an agent log anything in to the system?  What if your customer service center had a camera that captured images of people and their interactions at the center for support?  How long did it take them from time in the door to time to the front desk and back out the door again?  Gathering this data and spitting it out in to SLA reports could help determine when the customer service center needs more resources or less, helping to aid in your Customer Service Management process.

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What other examples can you come up with where the IoT can merge with your organizations Service Management processes?  Service Catalyst can help bring those far fetched futuristic ideas to reality in ServiceNow.

Visit us at Knowledge 18 May 7-10 to ask us how!