How Iot Is Jump­start­ing a In­ter­con­nected world

In­ter­net of Things ( IoT) is be­ing billed as one of the big­gest emerg­ing tech dis­rup­tions that will have large scale ram­i­fi­ca­tions on in­di­vid­u­als to en­ter­prises

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In­ter­net of Things (IoT) is by far the big­gest dis­rup­tion the tech space has seen in the re­cent times. It is on the thresh­old of snow­balling into a ma­jor trend. For the unini­ti­ated the In­ter­net of Things (IoT) might look be­wil­der­ing. But once you dig in deep, one will re­al­ize the pos­si­ble ram­i­fi­ca­tions IoT will usher in the days ahead. Sim­ply put IoT is the abil­ity to seam­lessly con­nect dif­fer­ent things- peo­ple, ma­chines to cars to any­thing that has net­work func­tion­al­ity. If you go by com­mon sense, IoT is next logical evo­lu­tion in lever­ag­ing con­nec­tiv­ity far greater good and re­mote man­age­ment. Its all about mak­ing hu­man lives and de­vices more in­tel­li­gent and in the bar­gain we are har­vest­ing a whole lot of good­ies out of it. Lets go into specifics and look at defin­ing IoT (we need to say that there is a whole lot of def­i­ni­tion fla­vors in the in­ter­net, but let’s stick to one for Texas In­stru­ments).

Ac­cord­ing to Jim Chase Strate­gic mar­ket­ing Texas In­stru­ments who has put in 27 years oin the high tech in­dus­try, he sum­ma­rizes IoT in white pa­per that IoT is gen­er­ally thought of as con­nect­ing things to the In­ter­net and us­ing that con­nec­tion to pro­vide some kind of use­ful re­mote mon­i­tor­ing or con­trol of those things. This def­i­ni­tion of IoT is lim­ited, and ref­er­ences only part of the IoT evo­lu­tion. It is ba­si­cally a re­brand­ing of the ex­ist­ing Ma­chine to Ma­chine (M2M) mar­ket of to­day. IoT in its cul­mi­na­tion – where we live in the data is de­fined as one that cre­ates an in­tel­li­gent, in­vis­i­ble net­work fab­ric that can be sensed, con­trolled and pro­grammed. IoT-en­abled prod­ucts em­ploy em­bed­ded tech­nol­ogy that al­lows them to com­mu­ni­cate, di­rectly or in­di­rectly, with each other or the In­ter­net.

This is in fact de­fines IoT in a true sense. It is about en­abling and em­pow­er­ing de­vices via the In­ter­net and chang­ing the very func­tion­al­ity of the de­vices. Its some­thing like Soft­ware De­fined In­fras­truc­ture (SDI), one en­ables the other­wise lim­ited func­tion­al­ity hard­ware de­vices into more agile and in­tel­li­gent de­vices.

THE IOT OP­POR­TU­NITY

Any con­ver­sa­tion on an emerg­ing tech­nol­ogy like IoT in­vokes mul­ti­ple per­cep­tive feed­backs. Some may call it hype and some may call it a po­ten­tial dis­rup­tor of things. But as we look at the IoT pro­gres­sion at this point in time, we need to say its al­ready started to im­pact the soft­ware ser­vices in­dus­try in a big way. Many of the lead­ing ser­vices providers are go­ing ag­gres­sive and have an ag­gres­sive IoT play.

In terms of the over­all op­por­tu­nity, a Gart­ner fore­cast said that that con­nected things will be in use world­wide will reach 20.8 bn by 2020. In 2016, Ser­vices are dom­i­nated by the pro­fes­sional cat­e­gory (in which busi­nesses con­tract with ex­ter­nal providers in or­der to de­sign, in­stall and op­er­ate IoT sys­tems), how­ever con­nec­tiv­ity ser­vices (through com­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vice providers) and con­sumer ser­vices will grow at a faster pace.

In­dus­try ex­perts say that there is a tremen­dous po­ten­tial of Value ad­di­tion with IoT to the es­ti­mate of $3.9T glob­ally, still quot­ing on the lower end of the McKin­sey re­port, but we have barely scratched the sur­face. IOT is all about busi­ness ROI, ap­pli­ca­tion of

Right now, ser­vice providers are us­ing in­cu­ba­tion mod­els to think big, start small and then scale up to solve big-im­pact prob­lems us­ing IoT

the right tech­nolo­gies in mon­i­tor­ing, au­tomat­ing and pre­dict­ing sit­u­a­tions at a sig­nif­i­cantly lower ‘To­tal Cost’ of what is be­ing done to­day.

Ex­perts be­lieve that the big­gest im­pact of IoT is that the en­tire busi­ness mod­els are trans­form­ing more to­wards a “Prod­uct as a Ser­vice” model, chang­ing from Capex to Opex. Tak­ing ex­am­ple of one suc­cess­ful IoT model that Miche­lin tires have done for truck fleets. They mon­i­tor the tire pres­sure, qual­ity of truck tires and en­sur­ing op­ti­mum fuel us­age, es­sen­tially of­fer­ing them a model of rent­ing out tires and charg­ing based on per km ba­sis. So in­stead of sell­ing tires now, Miche­lin has gone to en­abling the trans­porta­tion busi­ness. This works great for truck fleet man­age­ment com­pa­nies, even if pay­ing a bit ex­tra. This works out great for Miche­lin as they now have a re­cur­ring and higher rev­enue stream and more vis­i­bil­ity on their busi­ness. All this would not have been pos­si­ble with a bunch of tem­per­a­ture, tire pres­sure, road con­di­tion sen­sors in the tires con­nected by GSM/GPRS to a cloud plat­form. A sim­i­lar ser­vices model is now be­ing taken up by GE us­ing the GE Predix plat­form to mon­i­tor and main­tain air­craft en­gines.

IOT AND SER­VICE PROVIDERS

IoT is be­ing repet­i­tively re­ferred to in mul­ti­ple fo­rums both na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally as the next big wave af­ter in­ter­net and mo­bile that will af­fect our day to day lives. The way we do busi­ness con­tem­porar­ily will have been

Ex­perts be­lieve that the big­gest im­pact of IoT is that the en­tire busi­ness mod­els are trans­form­ing more to­wards a “Prod­uct as a Ser­vice” model, chang­ing from Capex to Opex

im­pacted hugely on the evo­lu­tion of IOT in the times to come. The com­mu­ni­ca­tion of things is chang­ing dras­ti­cally and is evolv­ing to a com­mon stan­dard glob­ally on phe­nom­e­nal scale.

Ex­perts say that a lot of tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, prod­uct com­pa­nies, ser­vices com­pa­nies and con­sult­ing com­pa­nies are in­vest­ing their money in adopt­ing new Open and Global stan­dards for evo­lu­tion of IOT which is get­ting im­mensely pop­u­lar and is one of the key in­gre­di­ents in driv­ing IOT led adop­tion.

The wish list and hype of IOT has been ex­ist­ing for some time now but now we are see­ing new mod­els and so­lu­tions that are evolv­ing and are be­ing put into a proof of con­cepts. Some of the man­u­fac­tur­ing, en­ergy & util­ity, Oil & gas, Trans­porta­tion, health care are some of the key ver­ti­cals that have eval­u­ated IOT for some of their busi­ness op­ti­miza­tion and op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency en­hance­ment. As a so­lu­tion provider Wipro is also see­ing an in­crease in cus­tomers want­ing to eval­u­ate some of the used cases and ad­dress crit­i­cal pain points.

CHAL­LENGES

De­spite the huge op­por­tu­nity, there are nu­mer­ous chal­lenges the ser­vices providers need to tide over in the IoT space IoT is a rel­a­tively com­plex eco-sys­tem with sen­sors, spe­cific pro­to­cols like BLE (Blue­tooth Low En­ergy) Zig­bee, com­mu­ni­ca­tion pro­to­cols, IoT gate­ways and mid­dle­ware plat­forms.

Ex­perts also be­lieve that there will be a sig­nif­i­cant uptick in IoT adop­tion as we move for­ward in 2018. As adop­tion picks up, one will also see the iron­ing out of var­i­ous is­sues like the lack of in­ter­op­er­a­ble tech­nolo­gies and stan­dards, data and in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment is­sues, pri­vacy and se­cu­rity con­cerns, the skills to man­age IoT’s grow­ing com­plex­ity, and the lack of proven ROI/ mon­e­ti­za­tion mod­els.

Right now, ser­vice providers are us­ing in­cu­ba­tion mod­els to think big, start small and then scale up to solve big-im­pact prob­lems us­ing IoT. But they start out by work­ing with their part­ners and cus­tomers to pro­to­type and pi­lot so­lu­tions to test the ef­fi­cacy of IoT tech­nolo­gies in ad­dress­ing busi­ness ob­jec­tives and driv­ing value. It takes a strong part­ner ecosys­tem to bring th­ese so­lu­tions to mar­ket. As part of this en­gage­ment model, prospects and cus­tomers are in­creas­ingly ex­per­i­ment­ing and dis­cov­er­ing to­gether. Ser­vice providers are work­ing closely with busi­nesses to bring sev­eral points of view to­gether with the pri­mary goal of un­earthing value for their end-cus­tomers.

THE ROAD AHEAD

While there con­tin­ues to be a lot of buzz around IoT, ex­perts be­lieve that IoT adop­tion is still nascent. Go­ing for­ward, in­dus­trial IoT ap­pli­ca­tions will get faster trac­tion even though most of the IoT buzz has largely cen­tered on con­sumer de­vices and wear­ables. This can be at­trib­uted to en­ter­prises be­ing more in­clined to test and in­vest in IoT ap­pli­ca­tions that drive mar­gin ex­pan­sion in­stead of IoT ap­pli­ca­tions that have a de­pen­dency on new rev­enue streams.

So far, us­ing IoT and the pos­si­bil­i­ties that it presents have pri­mar­ily dwelt on im­prov­ing ef­fi­cien­cies, elim­i­nat­ing waste and achiev­ing cost con­trol. While this will con­tinue to be a sig­nif­i­cant driver in the evo­lu­tion of IoT, the ‘killer app’ will come from pre­vi­ously un­seen rev­enue streams emerg­ing from its adop­tion.

As IoT tech­nol­ogy goes main­stream, con­cerns that need to be ad­dressed in­clude the lack of in­ter­op­er­a­ble tech­nolo­gies and stan­dards, data and in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment is­sues, pri­vacy and se­cu­rity con­cerns, the skills to man­age IoT’s grow­ing com­plex­ity, and the lack of proven ROI/mon­e­ti­za­tion mod­els.

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