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IoT – from connected devices to actionable insights

Everybody wants to have it, so what is it?

The evolution of big data and technology has opened up a new world of information, where data can be gathered on almost anything.

The Internet of Things (IoT), in brief, is the connection of devices, sensors or objects that have unique identifiers via a network (internet, GSM). By itself, IoT is just more and more data; but the real value lies in the connected devices’ ability to transform the communicated information into actionable insights.

Where the speed of the internet connects humans in real time, the Internet of Things connects machines in much the same way.

Our value proposition

According to Forbes, 90% of organizations will face challenges relating to big data. As IoT opens up a world of more data, collected at a much faster rate, connected to more sources, this can add pressure to existing IT systems.

EY’s data and analytics capability helps organizations discover practical opportunity, and attach tangible value to IoT investment. We put the transformative business and economic dimensions first, by enabling technology as the foundation. Our technology platforms are scalable to meet the velocity, variety and volume of data that is captured, and built-in accelerators that reduces challenges with integration and importantly, meets the most stringent of security measures.

Examples of EY’s IoT collaborations

The firm’s collaborative approach has helped a government develop IoT business strategies, including data monetization strategies for its $1bn smart city investment. It enabled a manufacturing company to cut unplanned machine downtime by half. It gave a global engineering group the insight needed to reduce manufacturing imperfections by 80%. It revealed why a particular agricultural vehicle model kept breaking down, using telematics data from 25,000 machines worldwide to save an average of $900 per warranty claim, and more importantly prevent downtime.

IoT sector views

An increasing number of organizations, across sectors, are increasing their use of IoT technology and integrating it with core business systems.

According to Vodafone’s recent IoT Barometer report, “82% of adopters agree that IoT isn’t a standalone technology, it’s intrinsically linked to analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and other critical digital initiatives.”

The report continues to show the increased use of IoT across different sectors.

The below picture varies by industry. While some are leading in penetration, others lead in scale – and are deploying more devices.

EY - adoption index

Home healthcare (in-home devices)

Let insights and analytics curate the population’s health ecosystem. Smart technology, including sensors and real-time analytics, have the potential to completely disrupt the industry as we know it.

Consider a network of connected devices across the entire distribution channel. Consider how intimately you can understand the supply chain, logistics and patient wellbeing.


The heartbeat of any sporting activity lies in competition. IoT technology is helping an increasing number of sporting organizations outthink their competition – and change the game completely.

With the use of real-time insights – the entire sporting arena becomes more competitive. Data and insights are creating ultimate fan experiences, improving player performances, helping to monitor sports zones, optimizing venue infrastructure and enabling team success.


Utilities are undergoing a major digital disruption across operations and how they engage with customers. Digitalization of usage data and grid management capabilities will be critical to succeed as utilities strive to be the future connector of energy supply and demand.

EY, in collaboration with Microsoft, has created a Digital Grid Services (DGS) offering, a cloud-based IoT Analytics platform, built for and by the utilities sector.


As the population grows, journey planning will become increasingly important. Citizens expect everything today to be faster, smarter and instantaneous. To cater to the communities’ demands, organizations are deploying new technologies to automate the transport system.

EYC3 offers a way to monitor and optimize your network. The power of transformation lies in the data. Enterprises can leverage data collected from people, devices and transport systems to create a new ecosystem.

EY partnered with the Economist to show how cities are completely transforming with technology.

Watch the documentary here.


With the ability to deploy sensors on almost anything, EY are helping the agriculture industry transform with tracking devices on everything from cows to machinery and weather.

By leveraging data, IoT is set to push the future of agribusiness to the next level. To improve production capabilities, and to stay competitive, farmers are investing in IoT technologies to improve the efficiency of their day-to-day working schedules.

According to a recent Business Insider report, IoT device installations in the agriculture world are projected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent. What’s more, the Australian government has realized the power of IoT – after providing up to $200m in research grants for innovative businesses exploring agricultural technology.

Future cities

Today, cities around the world are dealing with a range of challenges that cannot go unnoticed – population growth, health, security, energy utilization, education, citizen mobility…the list goes on.

By increasingly leveraging data from ICT systems, sensors, devices and other connected assets, cities can become ‘smarter’, improving their decision-making on how to best to manage their social and physical infrastructure. By 2020, smart cities are predicted to use almost 10 billion connected things as they become increasingly reliant on this data to help improve efficiencies and reduce waste.

According to an EY report looking at rising megatrends affecting the urban world, the number of IoT units used in smart cities could increase to nearly 10 million by 2020.

For more information, visit our megatrends microsite and read a recent article about smart cities.


Digital platforms will become increasingly important in the logistics industry, opening up an opportunity for a more level playing field – where smaller companies threaten to disrupt the industry’s established giants with their ability to deliver greater efficiency.

With US$1.5 trillion at stake for logistics players, and a further US$2.4 trillion worth of societal benefits as a result of digital transformation of the industry up until 2025, many operators will be looking at leveraging IoT and utilize the information to improve operational efficiency, reduce insurance/delivery costs and improve overall customer support.

For example, a global transport and logistics client that is using IoT analytics to optimize operations in long haul, short haul and warehousing has an ultimate goal to better manage their clients and their clients’ clients’ experiences.

IoT sensors track how trucks are driven, where they are, how they are being used and have shifted maintenance programs from a calendar model to a predictive, just-in-time maintenance model (such as changing brake pads). Sensors can also record ambient air temperatures for refrigerated loads to improve providence and traceability. Shock sensors on individual palettes assist with risk reduction; they can prove how a palette has been handled.

In terms of warehousing, the client is currently building a global hub where every container is stored and autonomous vehicles and robots move and track containers through the facility. Efficiency gains, detailed tracking and increased staff safety are just some of the benefits being realized.

Connected and autonomous vehicles

Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are a key disruptor to tomorrow’s mobility and transport sectors.

With benefits that range from road safety improvements, increased citizen efficiency and fuel advantages – the urgency to make it a reality has gathered pace. The road to autonomous driving poses a number of challenges for key stakeholders (governments, technology players, suppliers, automotive councils) who must come together to implement commercially viable business models that facilitate deployment.

EY - Autonomous vehicles: how much human do we need?

Read a recent EY paper here.

Media and entertainment (M&E)

IoT for media consumers can open up new, intimate entertainment experiences.

Armed with meaningful insights about consumer behaviors and preferences, M&E companies will be able to use data to deliver highly personalized, contextually relevant entertainment experiences. They can use this to help people re-imagine their experiences on devices they already own.

This new level of insight and context provided by smart devices will allow M&E companies to deliver targeted advertising that is relevant to a person’s mood, physical activity or location in real-time. IoT will not only improve the content experience for consumers, but it will also encourage the advertising industry to completely redefine its measure of success.

Read a recent EY article.

Wherever there is a sensor on a device or object connected to a network, value is possible."


Business Insider says that IoT connected devices will more than triple by 2020 from 10bn to 34bn. The next five years will see nearly $6 trillion spent on IoT solutions.

IoT literally explodes the volume and variety of data that is captured via technology in everyday objects at home, work and play. This enables deeper insights using advanced analytics to help organizations achieve their goals. Analytics is a key to unlocking value from data. However, with mass deployments of new sensors; torrent and variety of data; complexity in processing the right information from disparate data sources means deriving value from IoT analytics will be difficult without the support.

The need for powerful, informed, experienced partners is essential. EY has established alliances with GE, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, Vodafone and start-up companies from across industrial and consumer IoT that allows us to activate IoT analytics on a global scale with the most innovative minds of the industry to solve the most complex of business challenges.

Our intimate knowledge of the industry allows us to lead with the issue first. We then use our technical knowledge to unravel complex cloud architecture issues; apply device deployment and operating models; address data integration governance; review risk mitigation strategies and implement accelerators to deliver value from investment. Sophisticated analytics is then applied to help organizations understand business value from IoT analytics, giving them ability to accurately understand the current landscape and predict what might happen next with granular, real-time data at the fingertips.

Narrowband IoT

According to a survey by Gartner, by 2020, the number of Internet-connected things will reach or even exceed 50 billion.

To cater to this massive adoption, organizations are looking for a low-power way to connect thousands of devices in field. Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) is becoming the new standard of connecting these projects together.

Contact us

EY - Jeff Feldman

Jeff Feldman

Director, IoT Analytics Lead
+61 3 8650 7770
+61 420 539 737
EY - Damien McDermott

Damien McDermott

Senior Manager, IoT Architecture Lead
+61 0457 325 356
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