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2016 Predictions: M2M and IoT to transform operations

Operations to be impacted by M2M and IoT deployments

Editor’s Note: With 2016 now upon us, RCR Wireless News has gathered predictions from leading industry analysts and executives on what they expect to see in the new year.

M2M will move out of the back office
Previously, machine-to-machine has been used to automate internal business processes. However, companies are evolving their M2M strategies to innovate, drive new customer experiences, and increase revenue through more sophisticated, customer-facing connected products and services. In fact, 66% of those already using M2M say their strategy today focuses on external stakeholders, according to the Vodafone M2M Barometer 2015. And, as M2M moves outside the IT department and plays a larger role in customer experience and competitive advantage, we predict by 2016, more than one-third of businesses will describe their M2M projects as innovation projects, rather than IT projects.

M2M deployments will get more sophisticated – and deliver greater ROI
Businesses that are more sophisticated in their deployment of the technology, for instance linking M2M with cloud platforms and big data analytics, will see the greatest positive impact in 2016. While analytics has often been integrated in M2M solutions, it has now gone from a “nice to have” to an essential part of a holistic M2M solution. And these types of solutions are leading to significantly greater returns, with 83% of the most sophisticated organizations seeing significant return, compared to 43% of the least sophisticated businesses. And, 69% of those most sophisticated organizations say M2M has “fundamentally transformed” their businesses. Going into 2016, organizations considering M2M will need to take a sophisticated approach – and vendors will be expected to deliver.

IoT will become vital to the customer experience
Two-way communication is now enabling more sophisticated customer-facing applications. Users are starting to innovate and use M2M to drive superior customer experiences, and increase revenue through customer-facing connected products and services. In 2015, M2M adoption in the retail sector grew an astounding 88% as retailers and marketers began to realize the value of the “Internet of Things” for customer experience. Previously only used for solutions like smart vending machines, retailers now understand M2M can strengthen the shopping experience through personalization, smarter payment methods and digital signage – all while streamlining internal operations. In 2016, we expect the use of M2M and IoT applications for customer experience will go mainstream across industries.

There will be a new focus on connecting the ‘things’ that matter
With buzz around IoT, companies have rushed to connect almost everything. However, just because we can connect everything doesn’t mean it makes sound business sense. As the market matures, we’ll begin to see a weeding out of the solutions that don’t serve a true business or societal purpose. M2M vendors and service providers will focus on connecting the “things” that really matter like – utilities and smart meters, heart monitors, fleet management and chronic healthcare management solutions.

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