Internet of Things (IoT) is a buzzword today and one of the most focused areas of technology development worldwide. The industry involves various small and large stakeholders across the globe who supply hardware, software and such services for IoT applications. The industry is evolving from its infant nature into a toddler and this a crucial time for both the vendors as well as the customers to gauge where the industry will go and how will it be beneficial.
Each day there are several speculations rising and falling regarding the benefits of the IoT and the number of things that will be connected to the internet by 2020. It has become vital for all the stakeholders in the industry to really get to the basics and bring out where the markets for IoT ever stand.
You can observe that big players in strategic consulting are getting their numbers down, the high-value forecasts of trillions of dollars are fallen to billions and in some cases to millions. Now the question is does anyone have real numbers. The frank answer is no one…
You have to understand the fact that IoT industry is facing various challenges including no standard definition (which makes any technology or application or product that connects to the Internet claim for IoT), no standardization (leading to monopolistic approach or vendor lock-in) and too many players of small to large capacity.
Likely Investment Scenario IoT 2018
In 2018, Investments on easy to measure and quick to assess applications will be high
IoT is still a new and evolving concept for many from supply and purchase sides of the business. And therefore understanding the concept for both types of stakeholder is more or less on similar grounds. And it will take the time to gauge the full potential of IoT applications.
This is why; we will see more of experiments rather than actual implementations on a broader scale. The industry is in an experimental phase with newer companies of small to large scale from various sectors worldwide will plan executing pilot or restricted IoT projects during 2018.
The second half of 2018 will be more promising for IoT vendors where there are possibilities of scaling-up of earlier projects to larger capacities where results are good for the pilot implementations. But to make this happen consistently and on a larger scale, IoT vendors will need to clear all types of doubts from the customer’s mind before scaling-up.
Therefore, in 2018 most of the Investments will be based at the level of the application rather than going for all-inclusive deployments. For example, automation will become a key application area for many industrial sectors whether they are small scale or have multi-national operations. Automation for many is a known area and therefore both IoT vendors and purchasers are able to visualize the broader picture of the outcomes and benefits of IoT-enabled automation quite clearly.
In 2018, Investments in easy to measure and quick to assess applications will be quite high. These will include Automation, Leveraging Customer Experience, Location Tracking, Targeted Promotions, Alerts and such other applications.
In 2018, Investments in IoT will be of agenda oriented than strategic
Increasing customer satisfaction levels, reduction in costs of operations, optimization of available resources and building long-term business engagements are some of the quick expectations of IoT application purchasers.
IoT Investments are incremental and highly dependent on the results of earlier deployments and the ‘Returns on Investments (RoI) on Investments made will gain new orders of deployments. Getting complete RoI vary due to various factors such as the size of the company, applications installed, current complexities in company infrastructure, operations and technologies used, budgets and government compliances and compliance with the industry standards. Therefore there will not be the holistic realization of RoI and rather it will be a step-by-step process and will be a natural progression according to the nature of the company, its management and industry category.
In 2018, customers with long-term vision will Invest in pre-IoT infrastructure upgrades
In 2018, customers with long-term vision will Investment in pre-IoT infrastructure upgrades such as integrating operational technology with information technology, digitization of process and applications, centralizing data from various functions and putting data segregation in place, identify roadblocks such as present implementations of multi-vendor, multi-standard devices and applications such as ERP, CRM, MES built as per the need of each function, department or location and streamlining them to bring all under synchronized and with seamless integration and centrally operated manner. Breaking down the silos and make company navigation seamless, take care of data privacy policies, access controls and security policies and many such more operational issues is needed to be addressed to make company IoT-ready.
In 2018, most of the IoT Investments will be in building basic infrastructures such as adding smart sensors to the system, adding big data analytic tools and platforms, etc. Investments in IoT implementations that require mere modifications in existing infrastructure will be higher during 2018. For example in cargo and fleet management adding IoT-enabled implants to RFID tags and trackers and adding real-time data analytics to the process is easy up-gradation of existing infrastructure or adding IoT-enabled beacons and Wi-Fi hub-spots in a store with the addition of real-time analytics platforms for retail industry are easy starts. Such IoT Investments will be high in 2018.
The Investments IoT greatly dependent on user demographics, industry dynamics, and technology literacy
Investments on IoT during 2018 will be highly dynamic and diversified in terms of demographics, industries, and applications. Other than physical deployments of IoT; Investments will flow in mapping IoT needs, consultation and training for IoT.
The Investments in IoT are greatly dependent on the culture of a location, user demographics, technology awareness, technology penetration and technology literacy.
IoT Investments are highly dependent on characteristics of the management, dynamics of the location such as industry zone, tourism zone or agricultural zone, connectivity options and availability of bandwidth, and availability of IoT expertise on board or on hire.
Industries such as retail, cargo and fleet management, automotive and manufacturing are promising Investors of 2018
Industries such as retail, cargo and fleet management, automotive and manufacturing are promising Investors in IoT during 2018. Healthcare, utility, consumer electronics, and home automation will fall in mid-segment Investors. The upcoming Investors in IoT will be hospitality, equipment rental service providers, digital promotion agencies, commercial buildings and offices, and oil & gas exploration and mining industries.
In one line summary, IoT Investments in 2018 will be more of small portions and highly customized