What We Learned from the 2021 IoT Expo
The IoT industry has seen astronomical growth over the last few years with experts suggesting it’ll be worth almost $1.6 trillion by 2025 with over 75 billion connected devices. That’s nearly ten times the global population and three times that of the numbers just two years ago in 2019.
Initiatives like the LoRaWAN protocol are making this exponential growth possible, connecting regional, national and global networks like never before.
So, what are some of the upcoming opportunities and threats that lie ahead for this rapidly growing industry?
The TechEx Global IoT expo was held in London last month and attendees had a lot to say. They addressed a few key concerns and major developments in the industry. They also touched upon the best way to tackle the implementation of the IoT in business. Let’s take a look at some of the main takeaways from the two-day event.
One of the main reasons for adopting digital transformation in business is to improve efficiency, which is why the IoT is a key player in making this happen. But where to start on such a huge undertaking always has business owners struggling.
Thankfully, the head of Pirelli Deutschland, Richard Albert shared an important tip for how to embrace the IoT as part of the digital transformation of your business. That was to “start small” and bring in the experts to assist with implementation.
Efficiency is essential to increasing any business’s bottom line, and it’s something that the Internet of Things can help implement. Harry Taylor from Palantir was an advocate of this. Like Richard Albert, he suggested starting small and thinking about how the IoT could help to improve inefficient processes in your industry.
As a Lead of Manufacturing and Supply Chain, he drew on his own experiences in the supply chain and used industrial equipment affecting supply chain performance as an example. But his advice could be utilized by any industry as the underlying message remained the same. Find the kink in your systems and processes, get to the route cause of it, and use technology to help resolve the issue, which ultimately culminates in the gradual digital transformation of business.
Smart Energy Challenges
On the surface, smart energy makes sense to any business, large or small, and can ultimately create more efficient workplaces. Not only that but running on less energy has environmental benefits too. However, the implementation of smart energy technology has presented challenges, not just in the public sector, where Nathan Pierce works, but for private companies too.
Pierce acknowledged that retrofitting certain buildings for smart monitoring can be “fiendishly difficult”, especially if they’re older. However, he was certain that the benefits do outweigh the challenges and additional costs these challenges bring. He went on to say that “implementing digital smart controls and IoT platforms can add an extra 10-15% energy reduction”.
So, how is the success of the IoT measured?
Different businesses have varying methods of measuring, according to Sylwia Kechiche, Principal Analyst IoT at GSMA Intelligence. Some take a cost savings approach, while others look at direct revenue generated from IoT implementation. Some also measure through compliance.
For things like smart energy/efficiency-based IoT technology, cost savings seems the most practical way to approach this as there can be a direct assessment made of energy costs vs. the previous year. Of course, the cost of implementation should be factored in.
The problem, according to Kechiche, is that “we don’t know whether [businesses] are measuring this” meaning that without solid figures and accurate reporting, the success of certain IoT implementation is unknown.
In conclusion, IoT is clearly the way of the future. Business stand to gain a lot by incorporating it and reaping the benefits of IoT through increased efficiency of processes.