Impact of IoT on Business and How to Get Ready For it

The Internet of Things has been of huge buzz lately among every field of business and life, but how well have you adopted it or been a part of it?
If you are able to remotely manage your office/home electronics through your laptop/mobile, then you are a part of IoT. If you can generate an access code on a mobile to enter into a locked property without key, you are using IoT. Most of us are already a part of the IoT, knowingly or unknowingly. But in the coming three to four years, every one of us will visibly and consciously become a part of it. It’s no more a probability, hype or a pipe dream, it’s been happening and is poised to connect over 75 billion devices in the next five years.
Though we are in the initial phase of discovering what is possible when combining sensors, actuators, and networked intelligence, years ahead will open doors to a world, where information is pulled up from living/ non-living things, and is used, shared and identified between the products and services, in the all-embracing network of IoT.

IoT will make over $11trillion impact by 2025
According to a report on industrial application for intelligent machines used in IoT, by General Electric, a simple 1% efficiency gains for systems could result in 15 years of saving:

  •  $30 billion worth of jet fuel for the airline industry
  •  $63 billion in global health care savings with more optimized treatments, patient flows, and equipment use in hospitals.
  •  $66 billion savings in fuel consumption for the global gas-fired power plant fleet.

The impact of IoT applications is going to be massive, about $11trillion by 2025, according to a research by McKinsey Global Institute. More than two-thirds of this value will be for business to business sector, and the consumers of these businesses will enjoy over 90% of the value thus created. However, in order to enjoy these high profits, businesses need to start adopting connected, interoperable systems, devices and components, address security/privacy issues and make crucial organizational changes to reap IoT’s maximum benefits.

Let’s see how businesses should set themselves ready to receive this impact;

Connected and interoperable components and systems in business
Companies should start demanding their vendors and suppliers for systems and components that are mutually connectable and interoperable with each other and with other systems. 40% of the value IoT can provide will depend on the components’ interoperability. Now, connecting the equipment or deploying sensors at multiple locations will not make your business ready for IoT. Companies must also integrate, deploy and customize the analytical software that can collect and combine the data generated by all these sensors, to make efficient decisions, in order to derive better business insights. For instance, there are over 30,000 sensors and connected/interoperable devices in modern oil platform. But less than 1% of data collected from these sensors are actually used for efficient decision making processes in the industry. Also, data needs to be collected, combined and analyzed from multiple components to make an effective predictive maintenance condition. All these render the whole system simply inefficient.

Every device in your business should have an On/Off switch to the Internet
Every device, from phones, doors, electronics, manufacturing machines, printers, to security systems, should be able to connect to the internet. This will make the tasks of these devices up-to-date, just like a PC connected to the internet receives latest software updates on it. Network connectivity will ensure real time checking of component status, features or updates, helping the businesses to stay informed and fresh, always.

Moving to Cloud
Companies should move their data and services entirely to cloud, providing a flexible, expandable, robust way of service to its increasing customer base. The large players in the industry already have their solutions in clouds, to provide scalability and better customer experience.

Security and Privacy concerns of businesses in IoT
Almost all IoT-based applications rely on data from sensors, or consumer data, even collected passively from them, by tracking their behaviors. For instance, in an IoT-enabled futuristic mall, customers will no longer have to wait in long queues to bill their items, rather they could just pick the items and walk out of the exit. This is possible with the bills being totaled by ‘beacons’ that scan the price tags of the items in the customer’s cart, and debit the equivalent amount from the mobile money in his smartphone. McKinsey estimates that there could be around $380 billion reduced costs for retailers per year from this kind of automated checkouts.
The flip side of the whole thing will be the security and privacy issues. Every sensor is a potential loophole for hackers. Implementing such process will need businesses to build trust with the customers, by convincing them that their private data cannot be breached and will only be used securely. A lot of work needs to be done here. Companies, while implementing IoT, should make sure to invest only in high-quality data securing systems/solutions that are super safe for your business and customers. Businesses need to protect their own data, the customer data and the intellectual property. Partner with only those trusted technology vendors providing high-security solutions.

Remote Mobile Device Management (MDM)
Remote mobile device management technologies will play a key role in IoT, controlling and monitoring the equipment in the network of things remotely. This will help business to reduce equipment costs, cut down on resource usage, avoid disasters remotely. Optimize operations, and boost productivity.

Building the right organizational environment
Collecting or gathering data from everywhere is not the key thing, the actual point lies in combining the different information, analyzing it, and acting on it. Even the biggest of the organizations struggle to make the optimum use of the information technologies available to them. So it’s not just about having the most sophisticated technologies, it’s about using and sharing it within the organization and making crucial data-driven decisions from it. Operations need to be continuously monitored by IT experts, as processes are getting redesigned around IoT and the managers should plan how to interpret real-time data (i.e, to integrate information technology and operations technology). Marketing, financing and information officers will be required to share their data. And teams should learn to make decisions relying on machines and data.
Sooner or later IoT will mean a tweak in the lens through which we all will see the world. It will change everything and every business should consider its implications. Over the next few years, you will see the Internet of Things hitting a tipping point very fast. How can your business get on top of it, understand and implement it? Learn from our tech experts

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Ashmitha Chatterjee

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