What the Next 5 Years Look Like in The IOT Industry

Another focus area for the IoT industry is to retain and train talent with updated skillS

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In an (re)emerging country like India, where our day-to-day challenges are perennial, especially those in mobility, connectivity and urban infrastructure - an opportunity beckons where industry leaders and startups can collaborate and solve. Here are some learnings from industry stakeholders on what one needs to keep in mind when in the IoT business.

  1. Conventional business models will not work when it comes to the Internet of Things and connected devices. Businesses will therefore need to think out of the box.
  2. There seems to be an increasing demand for wearables and surveillance devices, especially in the defence and agriculture sectors.
  3. More than developing the product, in IoT the challenge is in the retailing of the product - finding the right channels and retailing partners.
  4. Another concern these days is around the security of IoT devices - since these devices are battery operated and low powered they are prone to vulnerability.
  5. Urbanisation is a big challenge in India, which needs the active complicit of the state and central governments in implementing the concept of Smart Cities.
  6. Another focus area for the IoT industry is to retain and train talent with updated skills. This could be done by tying up with educational institutions across the country.
  7. On the IoT infrastructure front, it cannot just be built by a few individuals or a single organisation. The effort needs the entire ecosystem involved, wherein various players coordinate and play their part in addressing challenges.

While there’s tremendous potential in startups leveraging IoT for realising goals, it’s important for stakeholders to understand the opportunity and the global perspective better. This month also saw the release of the global IoT Barometer report 2017-18 by Vodafone. The below are the IoT benefits as seen by its adopters.

Here are some of my key takeaways from the annual IoT adopters survey.

  1. IoT is not a standalone technology; it is intrinsically linked to analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and other critical digital initiatives.
  2. More than the Americas and Europe, it’s the Asia-Pacific region that has seen the biggest rise in IoT adoption since 2013 and now leading the pack at 36% adoption.
  3. 67% of adopters say their IoT projects are mission-critical to their business, with growth being driven by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
  4. 59% of IoT adopters in healthcare use the technology to help increase revenue by creating new products, differentiating existing products and offering more services.
  5. The primary objectives of IoT in the Transport and Logistics sector, has been to reduce operating costs and improving driving efficiency by making use of assets and resources.
  6. Energy and utilities with 35% of companies leveraging IoT is growing at 20.1 year-on-year. Another major IoT sector is Retail with 26% of companies having adopted IoT, and is growing at 21.1% year-on-year.
  7. Security and data privacy are still major barriers that are delaying the adoption of IoT technology at a large-scale.

Overall, in the next 5 years security concerns are expected to lessen, IoT adopters’ expectations will rise, technology will become even more integrated, and partnerships are expected to flourish. Partnerships will be the key to success. According to the survey, an overwhelming 80% of adopters think many companies will be collaborating with companies in the same industry to build joint IoT solutions. Hence, it may well be time for IoT stakeholders to collaborate and find the new oil rigs in the neighbourhood.