In recent months, Amazon Web Services has found itself criticized by Greenpeace for its environmental sustainability. The company’s data centers are apparently inefficient compared to its rivals. Greenpeace’s Senior Energy Campaigner, David Pomerantz, went a step further, openly questioning the energy practices behind the Amazon Fire Phone's cloud services. The mobile device is a "stone aged machine,” he claimed. Amazon’s response was expectedly terse - Greenpeace was being "inaccurate" and ignoring key data already provided by the company. This was the second time in 2015 in quick succession that Amazon has had to defend itself.
This high-profile exchange is more than just rhetoric - it demonstrates the mounting pressures facing senior executives across every sector to validate their management strategies. Each business unit must be transparent and accountable, including the data center. Shareholder expectations only add to the scrutiny. "We are committed to efficiency," no longer qualifies as a valid response; quantifiable data is the only option for companies under the spotlight.
This is why the Internet of Things (IoT) has caused such a stir in the industry. By providing a means to monitor and measure elements of the workplace in ways that were never possible before, it provides the C-suite with the accurate data required for informed decision-making.
Take the data center as an example. CIOs are under pressure to deliver more than ever before. They have to show continual reductions in capital expenditure otherwise their jobs will be at risk. Equipped with a flexible framework of data aggregation, analytics and best practices, CIOs can use the IoT to drive this strategic objective forward. The IoT transforms the data center from a “financial black hole” into a revenue-generating asset. At the same time, the IoT provides data center managers with the operational data necessary to solve their design, management and operational challenges.
The Internet of Solutions
We have discussed this topic in detail previously; however, it is important to recognize that the IoT’s benefits are not exclusive to corporate IT. Within healthcare, real-time asset visibility ensures the availability of life-saving equipment. Hand sanitization can be enforced to reduce the spread of infections that, aside from being a danger to patients, costs the healthcare and insurance industries billions of dollars each year.
Industrial firms can track containers from manufacturer, to distribution center, to the retail store, rapidly decreasing the time it takes to bring products to market. The IoT is even transforming the buildings we work in by improving the safety, security, comfort and productivity of the workplace.
The scope of the IoT is definitely not in doubt, however in a marketplace full of “IoT vision”, prospective buyers need to get better at asking solution providers to prove their return on investment.
For us, we let our customers validate our credentials. Over 400 customers, including some of the world’s largest IT, financial services and banking, oil and gas, and healthcare organizations use RF Code and the IoT to deliver multi-million-dollar savings. The tangible financial benefits shown in our case studies are not marketing material, they are the data and success stories of our software. The same strategy should apply to companies in Amazon’s position – rather than undertaking a war of words, counter the criticism with cold hard data. ROI supported by facts does not lie. That is the lesson to learn here.