Technology is the backbone of our generation. With initiatives like Digital India, technology is seeping into every bit of our daily life. It has now become imperative for us to innovate, and use gadgets and devices that enable us to do things efficiently—irrespective of our geographical location or other demographics. Internet of Things or IoT is one such initiative which enables us to achieve this.
IoT is a network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other things—made intelligent with software, sensors, electronics and network connectivity that allow these objects to accumulate and exchange data. IoT-enabled end devices sense events, relay them to computing entities in the network in near real time and enable them to take intelligent decisions. Usage of IoT is likely to disrupt the way many organizations do business today.
The IoT market is expected to grow to $566 billion, connecting 8.7 billion devices by 2020 across south-east Asia, and the Indian IoT market is set to grow to $15 billion by 2020 from the current $5.6 billion, as per a report by Nasscom. An estimated compound annual growth rate or CAGR of 40% indicates a rapid growth in this sector, which means that we may be able to remotely control and monitor every single device within our homes from our smartphones and wearables.
The focus of IoT is on infrastructure in the future which is expected to be entirely automation-ready, energy efficient, secure and enabling an advanced way of living. According to estimates by the McKinsey Global Institute, IoT will have a total economic impact of up to $11 trillion by 2025.
Since the adoption of IoT as a technology is still in the gestation phase in India, organizations are facing challenges on how to use the army of installed devices effectively. People with brilliant use cases in domains like healthcare, security and logistics need a way out, so that they can focus more on the use cases rather than the underlying infrastructure. This means that there is a key role to be played by IoT companies that are building the underlying platforms for these enterprises.
From a mindset perspective, IoT is still largely a technological discussion on raising questions such as, “How do we get this product connected?”, rather than a business reasoning on “What value will connecting a device bring to us and our customers?” Companies are misusing their time and resources on the very first step in the IoT process and not paying enough attention to ways in which they can achieve long-term benefits.
More connected devices mean more data and hence a humongous need is arising to systemize and analyse this data. The data is collected with the best of intentions and in huge volume, but is often inadequately documented and arranged in the systems. It is not an easy task to gather data from different sources for further analysis.
Hence, there is inadequacy of proper tools to manage IoT data. But if companies cleanly organize their data, it enables them to extract the real business value from it.
It is believed that the challenge of sifting through IoT data can be overcome with prescriptive analytics. What makes prescriptive analytics a good partner for IoT is that it can translate collected data into simple plain language to the right person in real time. It collects data, finds relevant patterns and recommendations for improvements, and delivers the information to the required person at the right time in simple, understandable language, communicating key insights in near real time.
Prescriptive analytics will be a big game changer for companies focusing on the underlying platform rather than the use case itself.
Many unique markets are emerging due to the role IoT can play in making things possible beyond sensing data and transmitting it over an Internet connection.
Child wellness and security is an important yet unexplored need in society. It is one such market where companies are leveraging the full potential of IoT as a technology. Products and services in this area will have immense socioeconomic impact. Through connected devices, IoT has an important role to play in monitoring children’s whereabouts, their health statistics, etc., thereby helping to reassure today’s concerned parents that the kids are safe.
As far as IoT users are concerned, they should look beyond connectivity when thinking about IoT: they must understand its essence to inculcate it in their lifestyle and to appreciate the true power of it.
IoT is a thriving and expanding industry. Clubbed with artificial intelligence, IoT will be the next big thing.
Shilpa Mahna Bhatnagar is the CEO and Co-Founder of Evoxyz Technologies.