IoT : an opportunity today, a necessity tomorrow
The human race has arrived at a critical threshold in the evolution of computing amidst the concerns of the rising global population which is currently to the tune of 7 billion, growing at approximately 1.1 percent every year. With an estimated 50 billion devices around the globe by 2020, two thirds of these devices will be ‘things’.
Things are intelligent devices like sensors and actuators that monitor, control, analyze and optimize our world. The hype around Internet of Things and the next level of industrial automation is tomorrow’s reality. IoT is the amalgamation of the next generation technology we talk about, today. Transformative technologies such as cloud, analytics, AI, machine learning, mobile communications, smart sensors are spun into the intricate fabric we fondly call the IoT. The opportunities with IoT as enabler are endless, both in terms of optimization and new break through services.
As per a PwC report, “one in every six businesses is planning to roll out an IoT-based product, and three quarters of the companies are exploring how to improve their internal operations.”
Much of the value IoT will bring is the ability for service providers, to understand their customers, and in turn their own businesses better. Apart from process and service optimizations within businesses, it is the promise of enhanced customer experience and delight, which will steer organizations towards the adoption of IoT.
In order to be able to deliver solutions around IoT requires a combination of four major types of technological offerings: Endpoints, Hubs, Network, Cloud Services.
Endpoints: Sensors that gather and analyze data from its immediate environment, and control objects over the internet
Simple Hubs: Devices that connect the endpoints to a broader network. This allows adaption of IoT services over a period of time to user’s behavior
Network and Cloud Services: These form the infrastructure for the Internet of Things. These service providers offer internet for the connecting hubs, and the compute power to collect, store and analyze data from various endpoints
With the above essential components, an enterprise can build the fifth major technological offering, their value added services. A hypothetical example is to monitor a driver’s driving behavior through embedded sensors in the automobile and integrating it with his or her insurance claim score. The intelligence software and framework is the added value, upon the essential technological offerings mentioned above.
With so many possibilities with IoT, companies must map their own IoT journey and not be overwhelmed their competition. IoT players today can be broadly segmented as enablers, enhancers and the engagers.
Enablers are the companies that offer critical IoT infrastructure such as the Network, Compute, intelligence, sensors, dev applications.
Engagers design, create, integrate and deliver IoT services to customers.
Enhancers use the services created by engagers and develop customized or value added solutions
Companies that are keen on developing their IoT strategy must identify their closest reflection in enablers, engagers and enhancers. With over 50 billion sensors working day and night to monitor potentially 7 billion people, is both an exciting opportunity, and an alarming concern, which might turn into another business opportunity on the lines of privacy and security.
IoT is an opportunity today, and a necessity tomorrow.