Make your business thrive with Internet of Things The current emergent wave of IoT comprises billions of devices that will proliferate the personal and business domains in all sectors.

By Samiksha Jain

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According to McKinsey Global Institute, the Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to create an economic impact of $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion annually by 2025. In this context, the market is ready for a very large-scale disruption in terms of transaction and economic models. This will open up the possibility for small and nimble businesses to carve out novel opportunities to create new value through innovative offerings predicated on highly connected and data driven future.

The IoT is not a futuristic technology trend. According to a Microsoft report, IoT was actually coined nearly 20 years ago by professors at MIT to describe a world where "things', which can be devices or sensors, are both smart and connected with the ability to collect and share data without human intervention. The data coming from these devices and sensors, when combined and analysed together, can unravel insights that were out of reach in the past.

"IoT is going to be a multi-billion dollar market in India. The CAGR is around 40 per cent and this will foster growth in this domain. We would be able to control and monitor everything from the smartphone and other intelligent devices like wearables. Any infrastructure in the future has to be "automation-ready' to be energy efficient, secure and offer better lifestyle and comfort. The company that creates the best platform for IoT will win at the end rather than just creating products," says Srihari BT, Co-Founder & Director, Pluggx Labs.

Bangalore-based home automation start-up Pluggx aims to fully leverage the untapped IoT space in India by providing a budget-friendly, hassle-free and a smart makeover to your home by letting you control your home lighting, appliances and electronic gadgets from your smartphone. The firm targets revenue of around $2 million in the current fiscal year. Other Indian start-ups that are capitalising on the IoT space and are generating impressive traction are Silvan Innovation Labs, WiSense, RHL Vision, Intugine and Ducere Technologies.

Game-changing Opportunity

The current emergent wave of IoT comprises billions of devices that will proliferate the personal and business domains in all sectors. Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group forecasts 50 billion units of IoT devices in service in the next 20 years, and Morgan Stanley in its recent IoT research report quotes the CEO of Verizon Wireless predicting a penetration level exceeding 1200 per cent with an average person owning between four to 10 connected devices.

"These connected devices will comprise of wearables like fitness trackers, connected cars (connectivity between the engine diagnostics system and car data), and smart homes and offices where connected appliances ranging from TV, refrigerators, lights, thermostats, emission detectors, pollution and weather sensors, and connected security systems will pervade our environments," says Andrew Caleya Chetty, Partner, Umbrellium, a UK-based firm that creates and commercialises participatory products and services that empower people to transform their cities. Umbrellium's Thingful is the world's first search engine for the public IoT devices, providing a geographical index of where things are, who owns them and how and why they are used.

Globally, Apple and Google are the two biggest players in the IoT market. Google Glass provides fast access to information by speaking commands to microphone built into the smart eyewear device. Apple also announced a new smart home framework called HomeKit that can be used for controlling connected devices inside of a user's home.

"IoT can definitely increase business efficiency as it is the upcoming innovation in the field of science and technology. It has been and will benefit the organisation as it supports and gives a new angle to acquiring a comfortable lifestyle," shares Giri Krishna, CMD, Silvan Labs.

Exploring New Horizons

"The IoT market is pacing up in India. With the technology developing every second, people are getting used to each change in lifestyle and the way things work today. The consumer and business demand exists and will continue to grow for IoT solutions. I think, sometime in the near future, IoT will become as natural as using a smartphone," says Krishna.

Large as well as small organisations can benefit a lot from the effective use and implementation of IoT. When business assets get connected from sensors and other industry devices across enterprise's infrastructure, then businesses can achieve returns that could have never been imagined earlier. They can tap into new and existing data streams getting better insights, enhanced customer service, improved processes, new business opportunities and a real competitive edge over others.

IoT can help enterprises drive business value while building on existing technology assets, devices and data. "Tremendous opportunities lie in the IoT space. Everything that you see, control, interact and monitor will be on the IoT platform. This is probably the next biggest thing after the invention of computer. IoT can contribute significantly in the energy consumption, home/office automation space, security systems and surveillance space and wearables and gesture recognition technologies," shares Srihari.

Although there are immense opportunities in the IoT space, but they are not without challenges. Businesses in emerging markets face unique challenges and opportunities which equivalent businesses in developed economies do not. The lack of efficient infrastructure, apprehension regarding technology upgradation, absence of government-regulated policies are few challenges in the IoT space in the emerging markets. "SMEs need to have strategies on adopting a data driven business model that create new and improved insights into customer behaviours leading to innovation in product design, product delivery and customer management," concludes Chetty.

Samiksha Jain

Former Staff,

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