How is the utilities industry applying the Internet of Things?

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With the number of internet-connected things estimated to reach 50 billion globally by 2020, there is no doubt the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to transform businesses and the way they connect and provide services to customers

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But as radical as it may seem, IoT can also be seen as the continuation of an old tradition: it perfectly fits the pattern of increasing convergence of multiple technologies witnessed by the world over many years, by finally allowing them to integrate.

And while many industries are poised to benefit greatly by the opportunities IoT provides, the utilities industry is arguably one of the first movers and shakers in IoT. With a history of connecting millions of networked devices for decades, utilities know how to link devices and collect field and sensor data reliability and securely with standard based networks.

As IoT continues to evolve and gain traction, utilities have an opportunity to drive a real shift in how they engage with customers to enable smarter communities and better manage energy and water. In light of this, we recently caught up with Jim Baker, SCADA Acquisition Manager at the Water Corporation in Western Australia, to find out the steps he feels should be taken to develop and roll-out IoT and how the Australian utilities can harness and benefit from Water Industry Telemetry Standards (WITS) protocol focused on IoT for water applications.