By: Nandavarapu Kiran, Director, Hi-Tech Practice
The Internet of Things (IoT) involves a continuously changing suite of technologies to monitor, compare and act on insights across and within systems that operated in digital silos previously. Devices in these systems now have increasing capabilities to communicate with one another, fundamentally transforming how businesses operate. Besides allowing businesses to increase their operational efficiency, IoT is opening a whole new world of connectivity and communication interfaces across which companies can connect with their customers. This space called as B2B IoT is growing rapidly in India – in lines with the growth across the world.
The IoT market in India is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2020 from $5.6 billion this year mainly driven by adoption across sectors like manufacturing, automotive, transportation and logistics, supply chain management, retail, etc. In India, for private companies, IoT is paving way the path to transform conventional processes, such as supply chain management which includes asset tracking and fuel management, into a true competitive advantage. By arming a company’s sourcing, manufacturing and logistics teams with more sophisticated information from IoT enabled devices or equipment, companies are preventing errors, correcting missteps more quickly, identifying and alleviating bottlenecks, and ensuring they are not leaving behind valuable assets – thus during the course maintaining an increase in efficiency and productivity.
Unlike the other markets, the Indian market is expected to play differently for the IoT market. Although in its nascent stage, B2B space is expected to have a better penetration of IoT devices when to compared to that in the B2C space. B2C IoT is expected to take time given the nature of Indian consumer space of having longer cycle before leading to a higher adoption or penetration rate. B2B will lead in adoption majorly because of the need for companies to automate and gain visibility into the factory floors which traditionally have been seen as blackboxes by the management.
Logistics space is expected to get a real boost from IoT devices. These devices should help increase asset utilization, along with the workers’ productivity by allowing managers to monitor and control processes on the go. In the long run,
In the long run, IoT devices will help in holistic integration of processes; right from HR to factory floor. This will give immense visibility to management and help them draft effective policies and gain very high profitability.
Across varied spaces, some of other benefits that the Indian companies are expected to reap are:
|Big Data||IoT will generate huge amount of the data and using it appropriately will help B2B business save money and target customer prospects more efficiently and quickly|
|Personalization||One of the ways to use that data efficiently is through personalization. The data collected can be used to target potential customers and customize sales pitches per previous preferences|
|Monitoring Purchase and Use||Data collected will allow retailers to know when restocking needs to happen, it will also pick up information on user preferences to better accommodate consumers in the future. Production and sales can be more efficient and increase ways to personalize the users’ experience.|
|Real Time Engagement||With the help of IoT, B2B marketers get immediate information from smart devices that eliminates the need for surveys.|
|Responsive Product Development||Enhanced flow of data from smart, connected products lets companies understand and improve product performance and connected products can employ analytics and algorithms to collected data to improve efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction|
|Usage Analytics||Once a prospect becomes a customer it is possible to map when the product is being used, how it is being used and in some cases what value is being realized thus. These data points will provide unprecedented analysis understanding of the influences of market forces, social interaction, and behavioral economics alongside business interactions|
|Predictive Maintenance||Analysis of IoT data can enable condition-based, predictive maintenance, which minimizes unplanned downtime|
|Easier and Efficient Operations||IoT offers many new tools, like in-vehicle streaming camera, driver mobile apps etc. making communication easier and prompt. Scheduling, load management, driver and vehicle tracking, and effective routing are some additional benefits offered by IoT|
B2B IOT LANDSCAPE IN INDIA
The B2B IoT Landscape in India consists of software services providers such as Infosys and startups such as iBot, DreamOrbit Softech, etc.
Infosys is an ecosystem integrator. Infosys apart from its strong Engineering, Industry Vertical expertise and IT skills has a well-established ecosystem of partners in the areas of sensors, devices, M2M platform and Device Management Platform. Infosys has invested and developed an open source based Big Data and Analytics platform named Infosys Information Platform (IIP) that is providing insights to enterprises for informed decision making. Supported by industry specific analytical models.
DreamOrbit Softech focuses on the logistics and transportation industries. Its target customers are trucking companies, warehouses, third-party logistics companies, and hyperlocal and last-mile delivery firms.
iBot connects manufacturers and owners of products/machines, leading to improved efficiencies and better consumer satisfaction.
Companies in India are creating varied use cases and enabling solutions to address them. Some of the specific and important use cases are:
- Connected products and new business models based on sensor enabled products
- Innovative customer experiences
- Smart intelligent assets and operations
- Smart supply chains
- Health, safety and environmental compliances
- Integrated command and control operation
Businesses and IT leadership have shown interest in adoption IoT systems. However, the overall readiness is low on their ability to define, govern, run, design and fund IoT implementations. Indian enterprises are more likely to start with the industrialization phase where the primary focus could be on increasing the efficiency of business processes. For example, asset intensive companies (industries, ports, mines) etc. are more likely to adopt improvement programs around their assets, people (e.g. safety) and movement (e.g. supply chain). Consumer focused companies (e.g. healthcare, consumer goods, automotive, etc.) are more likely to focus on improvement programs around customers, plant operations (e.g. predictive maintenance), movement.
Manufacturing, telecom, insurance, and healthcare industries have adopted IoT solutions into their processes. These sectors are expected to dominate the B2B IoT space during the years to come. In fact, the IoT space for manufacturing in India is expected to generate $4 billion worth revenues by 2020.
The IoT trend is here to stay and Indian enterprises may have to embrace this at a different pace and in different ways – compared to the other markets. The compelling reasons to adopt IoT initially could be either external (peers or industry forces) or internal (need for greater efficiency). Concerns over no uniform standards governing security and enforcement within the IoT, exist. However, these concerns are being addressed and over the longer term, a compelling reason for IoT adoption could be the need to gain competitive advantage, compliance with environment and regulatory and risk management in India.