While many companies talk about investing in the Internet of Things – and business IoT is certainly on the rise – fewer organizations are using this combination of technology and data analysis to create real value.

The size and complexity of many businesses is one reason some find it hard to implement IoT strategies. Senior leaders need to have a single-minded IoT focus to ensure it is adopted effectively, something large corporates can struggle to provide.

But one example of how companies can cooperate to realise a ‘digital-first’ vision can be seen in the relationship between Rolls-Royce and Tata Consultancy Services. Since 2010, the two companies have been developing more effective ways of collecting and using data.

Rolls-Royce F-136 engine display in Singapore Air Show – Source: Shutterstock/Itsanan

Information made efficient

Rolls-Royce – a global leader in aerospace, engine development and solutions for the energy and marine sectors – operates at technology’s cutting edge.

As well as investing in – and continuing to develop – engineering excellence, it has a vested interest in driving lean manufacturing and supply chain processes, as well as developing innovative customer services.

But it is here where IoT-enabled technology offers its biggest benefits, as the company can collect, store and process data speedily to eliminate manufacturing and supply chain inefficiencies, while real-time data analysis allows Rolls-Royce to offer consultancy services that provide granular corporate insights that were previously impossible.

However, all that generated data needs to be stored, managed, analyzed and shared in a controlled way. If the data is fragmented, it cannot provide maximum business impact and benefit.


Centralising is the solution

Rolls-Royce’s digital transformation is supported by TCS’ Connected Universe Platform – a bespoke platform-as-a-service offering that facilitates and accelerates the development and deployment of IoT applications across its operations.

Most importantly, TCUP brings everything into a single location, making the collected data far more manageable and easy to use.

“This is an example of how we intend to unleash data innovation through collaboration,” says Neil Crockett, Chief Digital Officer at Rolls-Royce. “It will allow us to take advantage of fast-paced data innovation – including accelerating our application of industrial artificial intelligence and a range of other cutting-edge breakthrough opportunities.”

TCS and Rolls-Royce are building on their long-standing collaborative partnership by launching a world-class analytics and agile applications capability hub in Bangalore. This follows TCS’ opening of a new customer delivery centre in Derby, UK, dedicated to servicing Rolls-Royce, as well as its expansion of delivery centre and support hubs around the world.

TCS engineers now work at Rolls-Royce sites across the UK, Germany, Nordics, Canada, Singapore and India.

TCS Connected Universe Platform helps companies operationalize and run IoT services more quickly and efficiently

The IoT of tomorrow, today

More companies are starting to see IoT in the same way as Rolls-Royce. According to an online survey of more than 900 decision-makers on their IoT use – in companies ranging from healthcare and manufacturing to retail, transportation and logistics – 48% of companies are on their way to becoming “intelligent” enterprises.

More than 20 billion connected devices are predicted to be online by 2020, and 53% of the survey’s respondents expect IoT-generated data to increase revenues in the near future.

The deepening relationship between Rolls-Royce and TCS is a further example of the engineering company’s desire to collaborate with key technology partners to drive innovation. It follows an agreement with Microsoft announced in July 2016, and positions Rolls-Royce closely alongside two globally recognised digital services providers.

Thanks to IoT, the future is happening every day and – with enterprises like Rolls-Royce driving developments – data has never been more powerful.