IoT starts with connectivity
From planning to deployment, commercial use, and expansion, companies will need to make significant investments of time and capital in IoT. To ensure a satisfactory return on their investments, companies will have to set clear goals based on their business strategy. Then their IoT journey can truly begin.
The start is often the hardest part, but once the momentum builds and the steps fall into place, so it becomes easier for enterprises as they move ahead. A simple three-step process can be applied:
Step 1: Build connections to gather data. Connectivity is the foundation of IoT. Connections vary in type and match different scenarios. When deciding on which type of connection, companies need to have a forward-looking strategy in mind; they need a connection that's stable, secure, and scalable – and, of course, at the optimum cost. For example, with smart parking, remote metering, and smart homes, as well as a myriad of industrial and manufacturing scenarios that have massive data transmission requirements, it is important to build connections that ensure low latency, wide coverage, and low power consumption. This is where Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) comes into play.
Step 2: Analyze data to create value. The value of IoT goes far beyond data gathering and real-time monitoring. Companies will increasingly see the need to upload massive amounts of data to the cloud, to support flexible resource scheduling and visualized operations. They will also look to process their data using machine learning and cognitive analytics in order to develop the new services that will bring them success. Looking forward, IoT platforms that are open, deployed on the cloud, and with big data analytics capabilities will be the ones to watch.
Step 3: Explore new value for new business models. Riding the wave of digitalization, there is a gradual shift by industries from focusing on their own verticals to open collaboration with each other, forging closer ties across verticals. We will see traditional industry blend with digital, one sector link to another, and downstream loop back into upstream. Companies will jointly explore and incubate new business models and commercial applications. In this process, it will be important for companies to bring an open and long-term perspective to their selection of IoT partners. They will need stable, win-win relationships to secure success in IoT.