The world has come a long way since the creation of the Internet and Tim Berners-Lee's fantastic medium that is the World Wide Web. We have reached a stage where most business proceedings are done online, on the web, and connected to the internet. With the launch of 5G, a huge focus has been put onto how IoT will be transforming business processes. However much IoT technology does not require 5G as bandwidth and speed of connection is often not a factor. In fact many applications even struggle to work on 5G due to lack of building penetration of the high frequency bandwidth. Therefore 5G currently does not need to be the focus of any IoT discussion.
Once 5G is perfected, IoT will be widely adopted at ease, however the effort should currently be placed on getting prepared and using the IoT technologies that can already benefit your business.
"The key challenge for businesses in building a viable IoT platform is to get the expertise across multiple areas of business, the backend processes and the correct hardware." - Solid Start Property Inspections
For this reason, uptake has been slower than expected, with business working to develop data collection and processing that will allow IoT to slot into place. All we can say is start off small and introduce IoT technologies in numerous areas with the option of combining them in the future.
Take a look at some initial use cases that are already proving successful.
A building management system can save money and create better working environments. IoT products can be used for many things. Smart thermostats and heating systems can allow the business to remotely heat up or cool down certain parts of the building. This means using the energy that has already been made/stored and transferring it to the desired locations. Smart meters and alike also help businesses to monitor usage and change bills accordingly. Alternatively, IoT is helpful for space management connected sensors or sign in platforms can track occupancy of certain areas thus allowing businesses to alter layouts and design. Along the same lines this is great for security reasons. Having smart locks, security cameras and geo-fencing barriers can allow certain people to certain areas. Access tracking is a huge benefit and can allow the business to react much quicker if a barrier is breached.
The fleet industry is already adopting lots of IoT technology.
"With regards to connected vehicles, IoT is helping to track in real time and with Bluetooth automating the logging process fleets are becoming far more efficient." - QMAX Pumping Solutions
Connected depots are the other side of this process. Having a depot that can monitor its contents and its trucks in real time from start to finish means that the data can be analysed, and process can be fine-tuned. This allows equipment and vehicles to be monitored and maintained prior to parts breaking and causing further damage.
Along with similar benefits mentioned above regarding fleet management, shipping services also make use of IoT technology to improve visibility of supply. This is essentially monitoring of products. In this case sensors detect changes in temperature, light, movement and alike. Data collected can help manage risk of delays, disruption and theft. This sort of product monitoring is best suited to products with a natural or reduced lifespan i.e groceries.
In a different sense managing products can relate to your products and services. Take for example a skip company. Skips are products that are owned and rented out as a service. That company therefore want to track and monitor their products. Traditionally there would be a logging in and logging out. Now the IoT can automatically do this with trackers that can also track exactly where they are, if they have been moved or stolen and can even be used to monitor their working state.
This is a sector that has already managed to integrate IoT successfully. IoT products are being used to monitor carriages. French National Railways is already using IBM Watson to monitor performance in real time. Collecting 70,000 data points per month means manual inspections are not needed as the system can predict faults.
In terms of the track, there are many journals showing research into this IoT use. Monitoring the track manually or using trains is expensive and timely. IoT devices that monitor vibrations, usage and noise once again offer the ability for predictive maintenance. If wearing parts can be monitored automatically and replaced early in the process rail delays should be reduced.
The IoT is certainly growing and it seems that soon everything will be connected to the internet in some way. Vodaphone’s smart city concept is appearing more tangible and the opportunities that can come with this are super exciting. The best advice that Telco Compare can give is get prepared and start building and business infrastructure that can support the technologies of the future.