It is interesting to learn that even though the Internet of Things (IoT) is surrounded by challenges pertaining to privacy, security, cost and connectivity, its hype curve proves to be absolutely opposite of its reputation. There definitely is a reason behind this and the reason is, if done right, the business benefits IoT can deliver surpasses its dark side.
Without doubt IoT can deliver massive business benefits. For instance, Shekhar Sanyal, country head and director, The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), India says, in the agriculture vertical the ability to manage crop, irrigation and pests can get enormously enhanced through IoT. He claims that with the help of drones and IoT at the backend it is possible to get constant updates on what exactly is happening on fields; this can help farmers understand how their yields will be or even plan their crops beforehand by understanding weather patterns.
Even Ravi Ramakrishnan, CIO of Uflex Film Division feels that the possibilities with IoT are endless as it is one such technology which can delivery business value across verticals.
Ramakrishnan adds that IoT for early adoption in business can be used in environmental monitoring, employee health and safety tracking, logistics tracking for environmentally controlled transportation, inventory control using blue tooth beacons for object identification and broadcast.
“IoT can also deliver business value in areas like retail sales for self-service purchasing and payments, utilities and energy for monitoring billing, electrical load management, conservation and preventive maintenance, healthcare for special needs patients and last but not the least for quality assurance in food industries,” Ramakrishnan added.
Healthcare is probably one of those verticals which is implementing IoT driven solutions much faster than others.
IoT can become an extremely useful tool in the insurance sector as well. Shalil Gupta, associate VP, insights and consulting, IDC India says that IoT can leverage notifications of motor vehicle claims via mobile based technologies which can incorporate telematics (built in technology) to seamlessly coordinate between a motor vehicle black box, smartphones and a centralized server.
Gupta adds that through ‘smart manufacturing’ it is possible to continuously monitor critical assets, equipment, process, and product parameters within the factory using sensors with wired networks or WiFi and also things like connected supply chain can track of inbound and outbound shipments for location-related information and critical in-transit parameters such as temperature.
Healthcare is probably one of those verticals which is implementing IoT driven solutions much faster than others. According to a new report from MarketResearch.com, the healthcare Internet of Things market segment is poised to hit $117 billion by 2020.
Siting a small example Sanyal explains how IoT can deliver value both for patients and hospitals simultaneously. It is true getting empty ICU beds is indeed a challenge in our country but IoT can solve the problem to a great extent.
IoT indeed has tremendous potential and power to deliver value for enterprises, government and citizens, but as they say, with great powers come great responsibilities.
“A major challenge in our country is availability of ICU in hospitals. Now if you have a device which when worn on the chest or arm can monitor your vitals 24 by 7 and keeps sending the data to a concerned hospital, it can alert if something serious is about to happen to the person wearing it. On the other hand it can also tell that a concerned patient’s condition is not serious and hence can empty the bed in the ICU and rather give it to someone who needs it urgently,” Sanyal says.
Gupta also points out that by capturing data from IoT devices it will be possible to monitor various lifestyle-related health parameters so as to achieve healthy living.
IDC claims that 2016 will for sure be a year in which IoT shall see double digit growth and Gupta firmly believes that IoT is here to stay and shall see more and more organizations adopting IoT for the immense business value that it delivers.
Keeping all the hype apart, one can say that IoT is still a work-in-progress and 2016 might just be the year where the work will actually get close to getting done and going forward, perhaps by the year 2018-19 we will have good number of use cases we can boast of.
IoT indeed has tremendous potential and power to deliver value for enterprises, government and citizens, but as they say, with great powers come great responsibilities. If Nikola Tesla in the year 1962 can believe in the mystic powers of wireless technology then, IT in the twentieth century, can definitely prove his faith to be true.