Here are some areas that may prove essential to the development of Internet of Things (IoT) applications in business organizations.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has long been an important part of industrial-technological conversations. However, enthusiasm for the technology and the applications it allows has not diminished.
In the coming months, there are few areas that could prove essential for the development of IoT applications within companies:
1. From PoCs to ‘PoV’s.
In a proof of concept (PoC), companies test whether a technology, device, or process works and works in certain situations as expected. Thanks to the PoCs undertaken by companies in recent years, IoT concepts and associated technologies are now proven and well understood.
However, many still lack a business case that demonstrates measurable value. So now the focus needs to shift from proof of concept to proof of value (PoV) - through projects that allow companies to see if an IoT use case can, in done, cut costs or increase revenues. PoVs, not PoCs, are essential to bring the R&D department's IoT to operational deployment.
With the economic downturn, the review of IoT projects will only intensify. In 2020, more than ever, business and technology leaders need to consider IoT as one of the many tools in a toolbox and learn to use it in conjunction with other equally important tools , such as analysis, to derive value from it. A saw can cut planks, but it takes a lot more work to build a bridge.
2. An internet of sustainable things?
The second area of concern is much more difficult for companies to combat alone. As the number of IoT devices increases, so does the energy required to power the devices and data centers they serve. 2017 figures suggest that connected devices could account for up to 3.5% of global emissions by 2027. Given the imperative to fight climate change, companies will find it difficult to justify such an energy footprint with more and more environmentally conscious investors and consumers. .
The story is not clear, however. IoT can also help make businesses more energy efficient. An example is Schneider Electric, which integrated sensors into its Lexington manufacturing lines and thus reduced its energy consumption by 12%.
There will have to be some sort of accounting for the energy demands of the IoT, the energy savings it generates and our ability to power the business from renewable sources. IoT device manufacturers can and should help balance the books here by focusing on energy efficiency in the design of their devices. Businesses will need to do this on a case-by-case basis to ensure that they can deliver innovation while meeting their environmental, social and corporate governance requirements.
3. 5G networks are coming-- will it have real impact on IoT in 2020?
5G connectivity is the latest ultra-fast, low-latency way to send and receive large amounts of data wirelessly. Already, it is clear that the technology will pilot in the future a new range of bandwidth-intensive IoT applications, including connected vehicles and a multitude of new video scenarios. However, it is less certain that the technology will be mature enough for industrial IoT applications in 2020. For many early industrial users of IoT, the current generation of wireless communications technologies, such as Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G and 4G is more than enough. . Industrial companies will choose the connectivity solution that provides as needed and at the lowest cost. In most cases, it won't be 5G for a while.
4. There will be much-needed market consolidation.
There are currently hundreds of companies offering devices, applications, platforms, and IoT connectivity. Of these, most computer scientists will have heard of it only maybe 20. This is a clear sign of a market that has not yet matured, and I think it will begin to change next year.
Expect to see natural selection in action in 2020 and beyond as the best runners in the market rush in and companies with less compelling proposals fall by the wayside. Without a doubt, a few lucky ones will also be acquired by rivals looking to build their IoT capabilities.
5. New use cases will start emerging at the network edge.
Typically, IoT devices send data to a cloud server where an algorithm analyzes it and triggers an action. However, Edge technology allows nearby devices or gateways to compute and analyze data locally, with a limited connection and sometimes no connection to the cloud.
The industry started talking about advanced IoT a few years ago, but adoption has been slow. We have finally arrived at a point where advanced equipment and capabilities meet the considerable interest of businesses. We are seeing an increasing number of implementations and, by 2020, we can expect rapid growth in the deployment of IoT edge tools.
A typical use case will be one where companies need a complete IoT solution in installations that cannot be reliably connected to the cloud because there is only a slow or even nonexistent Internet connection. Think of factories in remote locations or construction projects on entirely new sites. For example, we recently built a solution for one of our customers that works seamlessly on sites without an Internet connection. Using advanced IoT technology, project managers can always track workers, materials and machinery and receive answers to questions such as, "Are my welders well distributed across the job sites available today?" and "Has my concrete mixer arrived?"