IoT helps companies to utilize the insights from their applications, infrastructure, systems and assets
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the driving force for the future-ready enterprises and is not merely a step along the path to digital transformation. It is believed that by 2025, the IoT’s economic impact would reach to 11% global economic value. However, while IoT seems to be just one technology, it incorporates other major technologies, such as, cloud computing, data analytics, mobile, sensors, and machine-to-machine communications.
IoT landscape is changing at the blink of an eye. It is easily one of the fastest growing segments in the technology industry today. The real value of IoT doesn’t come from all the connections it creates but from the data it generates. With real-time data analytics, IoT becomes a live communications network for fostering insights and improvements. Gartner forecasts that 8.4 Bn connected things will be in use, worldwide, in 2017.
Some Recent Trends in IoT
IoT is not a single technology, it incorporates many considerations like things, devices, sensors and actuators, IoT platform, cloud, big data analytics, and insights. The need for real-time response to variations detected by sensors has necessitated analytics on the Edge devices; thereby transferring a major chunk of decision making capability to the gateways or the ‘things’ themselves.
According to Mahesh Prabhu, Vice President – Global Head of Innovation & IOT, ITC Infotech, the proliferation of smart phones and availability of low cost mobile data plans have brought to the fore ‘Smart Phone Centric’ architectural approach to IoT. In many cases, the smart phone acts as the thing, the gateway and the edge server, and uses Cloud for data synchronization and heavy duty processing on a non-real time mode. This approach is seen more in Consumer IoT scenarios, Tracking, Geo-positioning, Navigation and other such requirements.
Lately, there has been an extraordinary emphasis on analytics in IoT. Today, a closed loop IoT solution comprises of automatic collection of data, basic analysis on the edge devices, streaming analytics as the data streams are sent to the cloud, self-learning systems for the stored data and corresponding automated actions triggered by any of these.
There are top three trends in IoT according to Anand Bhandari, IoT Practice Head, ThoughtWorks which are as follows:
Platforms Solving Business Specific Problems: Most organizations have been investing extensive time and money into building large and generic platforms. But businesses are realizing that unless these platforms are solving business specific problems, adoption of the former will probably never happen.
Security: Until now, ‘sensors for security’ (or sensors for home/office security) that were used to secure physical premises were a regular feature. With the expansion of IoT, ‘security of sensor data’ is the task. This is where secure data communication cover the ‘sensors to cloud’ loop and avoid mishandling of sensor data. Privacy and data security are major areas in which IoT players are massively investing.
IoT and Hardware’s strategic partnership: While traditional IoT organizations have been largely focused on developing software platforms, they have realized their significant dependence on high quality, rugged and reliable hardware, for the field. Developing such hardware and setting up teams for the same is a mammoth task which is why IoT companies are heavily investing in hardware startups. Some companies are also developing strategic partnerships with the sensor and connectivity devices manufacturers.
Nishikant Nigam, EVP & Chief Delivery Officer – CSS Corp said that despite the increased adoption in IoT, enterprises face significant challenges in managing, securing and optimizing their IoT initiatives and investments. The key to unlock the value of IoT is to remove silos and integrate with enterprise eco-systems for better business outcomes.
Importance of IoT in Businesses
IoT is important for every organization as it is the backbone of IT industry. IoT solution includes a wide set of components starting from devices, sensors and actuators to gateways to IoT platforms those collects and pushes data to cloud based storage which uses the capabilities of analytics to process them for intelligent decision making. Prabhu says that this opens up opportunities in the hardware side for the device manufacturer, component designers, network providers, cloud platform providers, data scientists and system integrators. IoT brings unlimited possibilities for businesses across industry sectors.
According to Nigam, “IoT is a key focus area for CSS Corp. We have started making significant progress in customer acquisition and investments in partnerships and solutions. Recently, the company partnered with GE Digital (Predix Platform) to deliver cutting edge Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions. We are working with companies in manufacturing industries and we offer condition based monitoring solution. The solution constantly monitors equipments and devices at pre-defined parameters and proactively identifies the need for equipment upgrade or replacement.”
CSS Corp’s Industrial IoT services have given businesses the ability to transform their operations and at the same time drive more revenue by analyzing their real-time customer interactions and systems data. The solutions that the company offers understand the business value that data generates, and with predictive capabilities it identifies revenue opportunities and enhances customer experience. “We help companies identify early signals of system downtime through network data and predict future behavior resulting in increased operational efficiency” he added.
Another company ThoughtWorks empowers a strong combination of SMEs and IoT experts that do not stop at helping customers acquire reliable data from the field and transfer it to the cloud. ThoughtWorks’ teams of data scientists and analysts, also help customers develop statistical and analytical models that contribute towards strategic decisions for long term growth, such as enabling effective product developments, saving costs and increasing sales.
How IoT grows the Organization
IoT can help companies across industries to utilize the insights from their applications, infrastructure, systems and assets. It helps organizations collect reliable data from the field, without manual interventions. This collection of data lends itself to critical and meaningful conversations for the client, who can increase their business in the right direction. IoT offers new services that can accelerate business operations and customer engagements to deliver additional revenue streams.
According to Prabhu, with the help of IoT, things are able to communicate with each other, monitor themselves and the surroundings, analyze variances and instruct other ‘things’ to take appropriate actions without the need for human intervention. Self-aware and self-correcting systems ensure that the burden on human beings is reduced significantly. Human bandwidth is available for more strategic and innovative activities, the key for any organization to grow.
Nigam, CSS Corp. said that “IoT technology has had a major impact in enterprises on improved equipment uptime and availability, remote diagnostics, reduced operational costs and new channels of revenue spurred by Product-as-a-Service models. A whole range of benefits can be realized by leveraging IoT solutions to develop new business models and services.” CSS Corp’s IIoT solutions are designed to make IoT adoption as ‘frictionless’ as possible, and strategically guide companies on a seamless digital transformation journey.
Srinivas Rao Bhagavatula, Associate VP, Mindtree concluded by saying that “IoT enables an organization to create new models for monetizing their products and data,to create opportunities for optimization, thereby allowing to plough back those savings into innovation, and to change customer interaction paradigms which can positively impact revenue.”