Intel expects to save at least $100m a year on manufacturing processes by 2017 thanks to the use of big data and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.
The figure was revealed in an in-depth report on the company's own IT use, which is managed by 6,319 IT staff supporting 104,820 employees across 72 countries.
The 2015-2016: Intel IT Annual Performance Report: From the Backroom to the Boardroom underlines a growing trend at many businesses in which IT is now seen as central to an organisation’s future.
Intel CIO Kim Stevenson made this point in her opening remarks in the report. “Nowadays every business is a technology business, where data is the key asset and services drive monetisation,” she said.
“Moving from the backroom to the boardroom is placing Intel IT at the heart of business success, and enabling the right level of oversight and governance as we focus on security and protecting our assets.”
IoT will save $100m
This is taking many forms at Intel, such as the use of big data and IoT sensors to better run and manage production facilities.
“With sensor data collected from the equipment in each factory, the manufacturing IT data analysis team developed a tool able to process over five billion points per day of sensor data,” the report said.
“This tool detects faults and delivers visual HTML-based reports to any platform, anywhere, to help factory engineers distinguish between critical and non-critical errors.”
Intel explained that this has dramatically reduced the time needed to analyse and focus on key areas of manufacturing equipment from four hours to just 30 seconds.
"Instead of looking at thousands of graphs to manually identify manufacturing issues, factory engineers have the data analysed and automatically prioritised," the report said.
"This increases efficiency and speeds resolution of high-priority manufacturing issues that affect equipment availability and yields."
Intel explained that combining this with a focus on data analytics allows the firm to run 'what if?' modelling capabilities on factory planning processes and decrease wafer production times. This could save millions, Intel claims.
“This capability is expected to save 160 hours per quarter and reduce spending by approximately $100m through 2017,” the company said.
Data analytics delivers $$$
The improved use of data is also taking place in Intel's sales and marketing teams. The report showed how the Sales and Marketing Group and IT teams created more integrated CRM systems.
This made it easier to spot connections and opportunities in data, and allowed Intel to land a $576,000 deal that it might otherwise have been missed.
This has increased revenue and reduced costs by creating a single data analytics system.
"Data analytics projects, using an integrated analytics platform that connects disparate data sets with a data lake model, have saved an estimated $170,000 per quarter," the report said.
Hardware use grows
Turning to the cloud and data has increased the hardware requirements at Intel, and the company revealed that its server estate has almost doubled from 84,379 to 144,040 over the past 12 months.
This has also seen its storage capacity across the business grow from 106PB to 143PB.
Meanwhile, Intel's IT team oversees the management of 149,632 laptops, 50,100 smartphones and 15,355 PCs. Interestingly, only 4,300 tablets are in use at the company.
Meeting room improvements
Another interesting aspect of IT use at Intel is an overhaul of meeting rooms to support wireless setups, reducing the time it takes for meetings to begin and vastly improving productivity, Intel claimed.
Some 500 of these 'wireless' meeting rooms are now in use at Intel sites, which take advantage of Intel Core vPro processor-based PCs to act as a central hub for the room through which other devices can connect wirelessly.
“Meeting start times have gone from several minutes to just seconds, accelerating the time to productivity for meeting participants. In fact, 89 percent of survey respondents said they would recommend this solution to others," the report said.
"Based on this success, we now implement these new conference rooms on Intel campuses around the world with a vision to expand our ability to provide contextual assistance just around the corner."
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