For a while now, Channel partners have been torn between whether the Internet of Things is the next big thing or if it’s just a passing fad. However, the history of opportunities in the Telecoms Channel are based on three fundamental things—the creation, dissemination, and usage of data, all of which IoT is set to enable at a furious pace.
Here’s why the Internet of Things is the next inevitable growth driver for businesses, and how you can make the most of it.
The evolution of data opportunities from 1980’s onwards
The 80’s bought us the personal computer, consisting of a one human plus one machine set up where data was created and shared between them, and only them. Eventually, through dial-up services and local area networks, these computers would be able to connect to each other, increasing the amount of data that could be produced, shared, and used, and in turn creating new opportunities for applications that would form the business foundation of many of the big players in the IT Channel.
Speed forward to the 90’s greatest invention: the World Wide Web. Now we could create even more data, share it even more easily, and use it in even smarter ways. Eventually, this would lead to opportunities that transcended business applications, spilling over into our daily lives to help us stay connected to everything—a concept which was only further solidified by mobile computing in the 00’s.
IoT takes things a step further still, and is set to connect more than just computers and humans. Nothing is off limits with 1.5 trillion things waiting to still be connected right now—from cows and shipping containers, to combine harvesters and cardiovascular health—and is worth an estimated $1.9-14.4 trillion. Connecting these things will exponentially increase the amount of data created, shared, and consumed, creating far more growth opportunities for businesses.
Furthermore, the timing to adopt IoT has never been better. Sensor technology has vastly improved and become cheaper at the same rate, as have broadband and mobile connectivity. Cloud storage is now standard for most companies and individuals alike, meaning we can store all that data generated, and analyse it in smarter ways using the tools created for Big Data analysis in last few years. The question therefore isn’t when it will happen, but how it will happen.
So, how do you identify the next big deal for your business?
Use what (and who) you know already
Besides acquiring a new business or increasing production of your existing inventory, often the best opportunities are within your existing base of customers and partners. According to Gartner and the UK government, IoT will first impact the retail, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and transport sectors, with others following closely behind.
Interestingly, many of the opportunities within these areas only require a quick change of tactic in thinking, switching the focus to intervene in existing processes to generate soft value using the data IoT provides. This includes:
Increasing productivity and saving time
For example, manufacturers already have many of the capabilities required to collect IoT data. Connecting existing sensors, we’re able to both predict and report system health to reduce costly downtime, as well as collect valuable real-time analytics that can be used to improve efficiencies. You can read more about IoT and its impact on the factory floor here.
Optimising resources and reducing costs
Having issues with late drivers and high fuel costs? GPS location and data gathered by real-time monitoring can help to optimise fleet routes to save on fuel costs while reducing the time in transit.
Crafting better user experiences
In marketing, IoT enables the smarter collection of customer data that can then be used in smarter ways to create targeted campaigns, tailored digital displays, and bespoke real-time pricing changes to increase conversions.
Protecting workers and the environment
Wearable technology can help workers perform tasks quicker and make less mistakes, whilst movement, activity, speech sensors, and real-time air quality data could keep them safer by identifying dangerous situations.
Creating new value added services
Companies like Rolls-Royce have evolved their offering, shifting their focus to how they use the data gathered by IoT to create a service that extends beyond the initial point of purchase of the product. This way of working is responsible for more than 50% of their revenues, making it a company no longer selling engines, but delivering ‘Total Care’ that improves their customers operations. You can read more about IoT as a service here.
Producing, sharing, and using data in a smart way is really what underpins IoT—and more businesses than ever are adopting solutions into their existing bases that give their clients the ability to work smarter, not harder.
Interested in talking to us about how to identify your next big opportunity? Talk to us about our Pangea Partner Programme and we’ll help you and your clients develop an IoT strategy, find the right solutions, and integrate them seamlessly, all underpinned by our award-winning IoT ecosystem of connectivity, devices, solutions and actionable analytics.
Contact us here.