IoT – A Transformational Period
Currently, the majority of IoT use cases are aimed at serving customers, the use of smart home meters for example. However, enterprise IoT may represent the greatest evidence of the potential that IoT presents. It will have a huge impact on the efficiency, productivity and financial health of enterprises, regardless of the sector that they operate in.
Business Insider Intelligence claim that the enterprise IoT market will be the largest of the three key sectors – enterprise, home and government. By 2019, it is predicted that there will be a total of 23.3bn IoT connected devices, with around 40% coming from the enterprise market. Telcos are going to have a central role in the enterprise IoT landscape, supporting businesses to process, analyse and act on the data that is produced from connected devices.
Across all IoT use cases, data processing is an ever-present challenge to organisations. Inefficient processing of the data will rapidly increase the cost of supporting IoT applications, limiting how quickly businesses can realise value from them. If an organisation can take information that has been presented from an IoT-enabled device and cannot process it and turn it into a valuable action immediately, it is too slow. The whole premise of the technology is to provide real-time information that users can then act upon to add value in a meaningful way.
As enterprise networks will have to distribute a higher volume of data from various devices, they will have to be equipped to transmit the information quickly and cost-effectively otherwise latency can become a problem. Telcos are in a unique position to support enterprises with their IoT efforts. They have the software that enables real-time data analysis and actions, as well as network capabilities to ensure the best possible environment for data capturing and processing.
A number of telco operators are providing the blueprint for IoT business and service models. There will be an increase in the number of partners needed to build an enterprise IoT solution as the majority of telcos won’t build proprietary IoT hardware and devices due to the number of established companies who already have a huge head-start. Instead, they should create partnerships with these manufacturers to work most efficiently in order to improve speed to market.
Working with partners will allow the creation of a standardised IoT technology platform, where service providers can explore opportunities in both B2B and B2C markets. A standardised underlying platform will allow providers to support a high number of B2B and B2C devices efficiently, lowering the cost-per-unit and solving any issue of price competitiveness. By standardising their infrastructure, telcos can achieve better efficiencies in the delivery of core IoT management services and deliver additional value through add-on service upsell opportunities.
The environment that telcos currently operate in will be transformed by the wide-scale adoption of IoT technologies, with many organisations having to create separate divisions with unique business models – think how mobile technology forced telcos to create standalone companies to make the most of the opportunity that mobile presented. No matter how service providers approach the challenge that IoT presents, it is worth considering how best to adapt existing business models and current capabilities to maximise the value from the wealth of data that will be created.
Bristol is Open
The development of smart cities such as Bristol increases the need of well developed, mature IoT solutions. Bristol is an experimental test bed where an SDN network operating system controls the city’s infrastructure. Bristol is open is a partnership between Bristol city council and the University of Bristol working to support city-driven research and innovation within the sector. Bristol uses IoT devices with smart city technologies within their city network to be able to collect data on everyday events such as congestion in the city, waste management, energy supply and more.
Find out more about how Bristol is using IoT at Bristol is Open