Business and Industry Perspective

Looking Ahead: How IoT Will Impact Business

February 3, 2017

“The Internet of Things is giving us new and better experiences by allowing things that were not connected to work seamlessly together, making our lives more efficient in ways that were previously impossible or impractical.”

– AT&T

Back in 2014, 87% of people had never heard the phrase “Internet of Things.” Fast forward three years to a world where 6.4 billion connected devices are being used daily. From connected homes to smart cities, IoT is emerging into a soon-to-be $6 trillion industry. Although confusion surrounding the idea of IoT is fading, the mystery of how it will impact business remains.

The Internet of Things (what some are calling the next Industrial Revolution) is transforming the communications landscape and, in turn, the way service providers are conducting business. Experts forecast that there will be 34 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020 – up from the 10 billion in 2015. As IoT continues to penetrate the enterprise and consumer markets, the number of “connected things” grows, along with its implications.

Without doubt, the rise of IoT is giving business owners major growth opportunities like lower operating costs, increased productivity and the potential to expand into new markets. However, it’s also presenting new challenges that require an overhaul of fragmented systems. Without question, the internet of things future will open the doors for an array of new possibilities and demand new processes for businesses to keep up.

“The combination of telecom infrastructure and smart technologies, in my opinion is one of the great catalysts and facilitators of sustainable growth. By making things smarter, by increasing efficiency and clearing clutter, by bringing companies so much closer to their clients – it is almost without boundaries.”

– Pieter Puijpe, Head of Telecom Media and Technology at ING Commercial Banking

Higher Productivity, Improved Efficiency

As Internet of Things applications become more commonplace, businesses of all kinds will enjoy higher levels of productivity and efficiency.

In fact, Elemica, a supply chain optimization company, used IoT to help them address volume issues with suppliers. Before IoT implementation, an employee would have to to drive miles out to gas tanks, check levels, and relay the information back to the supplier. Now, the company uses IoT applications to report real-time data to the supplier, even when the tank is thousands of miles away. Their tanks are constantly filled at their optimal levels, increasing productivity and lowering cost structure dramatically. This is just one example of the potential impact of connected devices.

More Data, New Pricing Models

In the midst of a data revolution, IoT will provide a much-needed infrastructure to analyze and implement data in real time. This represents potential value for businesses ready to leverage the opportunity. All of these interconnected devices talking to each other leads to one major implication for businesses – more data.

“The real value that the Internet of Things creates is at the intersection of gathering data and leveraging it.” – Daniel Burruss

IoT technology will encourage businesses to adopt usage-based pricing models. As consumers gain increased connectivity, on-demand, pay-as-you-go pricing will become the norm. Organizations will need to adapt to usage-based pricing and all the back-office implications that come with it. Legacy systems will reveal themselves as obsolete, lacking the capabilities necessary to support new IoT products.

Increased Mobility

Mobile devices are a major disruption factor in the new IoT ecosystem. The need to manage and secure an extensive network of interconnected devices will only increase in scope and organizations will need to evolve to manage these endpoint devices while supporting this major explosion of data. IoT is centered around machine learning, humans will play an integral role in the process – especially ensuring app security. How will you keep up with and track the way devices flow between customers? Visibility will be key.

The way organization choose to address IoT could prove instrumental in protecting their ability to thrive. Are you ready? If you are in the communications industry, you may be wondering how you will manage this massive change or how you will even be able to monetize.  If you want to explore IoT billing platform solutions, we have a team of experts here to chat.

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