Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved over the decade from yet another concept on paper to fully blown prime technology enterprise applications that render tremendous business value. In addition to unlocking strategic value in its wake, IoT has, in tandem with several other emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Edge Computing and 5G, begun to create value and deliver competitive edge to organizations in diverse industries ranging from manufacturing to fleet management to energy and asset management to even smart cities.
The IoT market in India will touch USD15 billion by 2020, and account for nearly 5% of the total global market. This will also get reflected in the fact that IoT devices in India are likely to increase significantly, from roughly 200 million units in 2016 to 2.7 billion units by 2020. As these devices generate data, it will fuel innovation in not only solutions targeted at end consumers, but also in manufacturing processes, service delivery mechanisms and in creating new business models.
As per a NASSCOM report, India is expected to lead in terms of IoT adoption. In fact, Industrial IoT (IIoT) is already well on its way to rejig the Indian manufacturing landscape. The Indian government has made “Make in India” initiative a priority to strengthen India’s manufacturing prowess while making the country an attractive location for Indian and international manufacturers.
It is predicted that by 2025, IoT devices will generate 90 zettabytes of data. When harnessed and integrated with other technologies what are the opportunities that this unlocks? Here is a look:
- Interconnected manufacturing processes through Industrial IoT – As the sensors and intelligent devices combine linear manufacturing processes, systems, machinery and assembly lines using data in dynamic interconnected, digital systems, they will convert the data insights into AI and predictive analytical capabilities. Soon, factories around the world will make and deliver products differently, with a man-machine interaction at the pivot, thereby making labor more productive and operations more effective and efficient. For example, IIoT can predict the eventuality of a machine shutting down and automatically schedule service/repair requests, thereby decreasing machine downtime. As systems and processes move from being labour-intensive to data-driven, manufacturing floors will also benefit from automation and proactive operations across all business-critical applications such as the ERP and CRM to enable more proactive supply chains, resource and demand planning and more, keeping all systems and processes constantly connected to each other.
- Enabling an efficient Fleet Management – Apart from the predictive maintenance capabilities that can be derived, transportation systems that are powered by AI and ML can identify threats much faster than the human eye. For example, video-based safety systems that were brought into fleets previously, can now be enhanced using ML to detect anomalies and risks including lane detection, driver fatigue, fuel theft, etc. With the adoption of IoT and other telematics tech to create integrated mobility, smart fleet management solutions will help in vehicle tracking/monitoring, analytics, remote diagnostics, and also connect the data from enterprise applications such as the supply chain systems and ERP .
- Optimizing Asset and Energy Management– As the focus shifts to better asset management and finding sustainable solutions for energy consumption, IoT is enabling mass-scale digital transformation and automation for asset-intensive enterprises for smart asset management. Once a system embraces IoT, all assets and devices will get connected to a cloud network that can then be analysed using AI and ML. Enterprises will be able to access all asset-related information from a single dashboard and also manage it seamlessly. Additionally, with the continuous increase in energy consumption, smart grid services will collect and analyze consumption data to improve the economy of power usage. These grids will also be equipped with predictive capabilities, brained by AI, to anticipate outages and alert the authorities.
- Computing at the Edge – For connected devices and networks to go about their tasks efficiently, it is not possible to have an always-on connectivity option. Edge computation take the computing power of the cloud to enable the devices to enable data analytics anywhere and anytime in a secure environment. In the year 2020, edge computing will become altogether more critical for enterprises as they look to achieve faster operations and better management in a seamless manner.
- Powering Smart Cities – What can AI and ML do for the Smart City dream? Plenty! By integrating AI, ML and IoT, cities can plan for smarter healthcare, safer and faster traffic solutions, better waste collection and disposal, monitoring of different elements of the day to day life of citizens to anticipate and predict any risks and anomalies, and a lot more. There should be a harmonious collaboration of multiple stake holders of smart city solutions like the government agencies, solution providers and technology product companies to build and deploy meaningful smart city solutions in 2020.
- Connectivity – Better reliability and latency are said to be the key benefits provided by 5G networks, which when adopted in mainstream solutions will allow connected devices and networks to send and receive data faster and take data analytics and insights unto a much more expedited and efficient level. Lower Power Wide Area Networks such as NB – IoT and LTE M are empowering better connectivity of wide range of IoT devices and mission critical applications.
It has already been established that we can glean massive amounts of data using IoT to drive efficiencies across businesses and diverse industries. What is crucial is the question of ‘what we actually do with this data and how we leverage it to our advantage?’ Several technologies are coming to the forefront, each with their own unique capabilities – block chain, AR, VR, deep learning, digital twins and a lot more. Landscapes are changing with the disruption that they offer. When combined and integrated with each other at various converging touch-points, these technologies hold the potential to change business landscapes across the globe, and that too soon!
*Originally published in ETCIO | January 28, 2020, 08:12 IST