3 things you can’t overlook for IoT success (Reader Forum)
While the IoT market is still in its infancy, it’s growing at a breakneck pace as more devices and machines connect each day. Cities, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing and other industries are dominating the global economy are transformed due to IoT gains. According to Ericsson’s Mobility Report, the world will see 30 billion connected devices within the next five years, and 20 billion of those will be related to the IoT. With this impressive growth, enterprises are looking for ways to not only capitalize on the prospects, but also future-proof their opportunities.
Businesses are already starting to face challenges from managing the data streaming from massive quantities of devices. As an added challenge, they need to also ensure the transmissions are reliable for continuity, accuracy, and security. When planning IoT strategies, enterprises need to weigh many challenges they may encounter on the path to success, including capabilities that may fall outside their means or comfort zone and whether to develop homegrown technology or to evaluate strategic partnerships. There are three aspects to keep in mind.
Choose connectivity technology that supports both current and future ambitions
What the industry considers “big data” is rapidly getting bigger with real-time updates and streaming information being generated at a never-before-seen level. Enterprises need to ensure they use connectivity infrastructure that supports not only the existing applications and fast-growing volume of data now, but also future use cases and technology evolution. As an example, self-driving cars require enormous amounts of data to navigate traffic, and that data connection must be completely reliable and uninterrupted, given the level of safety needed. 5G technology is how telecom service providers anticipate supporting low-latency and high-reliability applications like these.
Leverage platforms to overcome system fragmentation
Each industry has its layers of technologies, systems, and procedures mixed from different vendors and eras. The blend of old and new can often introduce complexity, especially if legacy systems don’t talk to new ones. Additionally, fragmented systems will be a roadblock preventing companies from fully harnessing the data and intelligence available from connected sources. With the introduction of IoT platforms for cloud-hosted processes, leading to interoperability and scale, businesses will find common ground to leverage the old and new, allowing for more sophisticated information to identify efficiencies and create new, helpful services.
Benefit from partners with strong industry knowledge and rich ecosystems
Strategic decisions to create homegrown services or partner up have several capex, opex and opportunity costs to consider. An organization may have an exciting service it developed for the Australian market, but what will it need to rethink if the service should also reach the Japanese or Brazilian markets? It’s a whole new ball game. Aside from the localization changes, there are very likely regional differences in technology standards, partner competency and other factors that could slow down an international expansion. As enterprises plan their growth strategies, they will find value in collaborating with a transformation partner that can provide industry knowledge and bring a strong ecosystem and introduce new partners as needed.
The truth is that the IoT is already here, and those with proper planning around data and connectivity, platforms, and ecosystems will be successful in capturing new opportunities. Furthermore, those that can strike while the iron’s hot without compromising security will earn the path to IoT success.
Warren Chaisatien is Global Head of IoT Customer Engagement Marketing at Ericsson, where he leads the company’s engagements with telecom service providers on IoT business and technology strategies. Generating demand for the regional sales organizations, his C-level engagements focus on telecom service providers’ roles and opportunities in the IoT value chain. Warren brings 20 years of international ICT industry experience in marketing and strategy, as well as consulting and sales, spanning North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.