By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
I’m sure you’re no stranger to the IoT buzz that has taken the industry by storm the past year or so. And you’re going to keep hearing that buzz — IoT isn’t going anywhere. In fact, according to Gartner, the number of deployments of connected devices is forecasted to increase by 30 percent in 2015, with the total number of connected devices to reach 25 billion in 2020.
Why the rapid growth? IoT solutions enable a shift from reactive to proactive service. Reactive service — customer calls with an issue, service provider responds — has quickly become a thing of the past. Customers are beginning to understand that they don’t need to settle for that model. M2M- and IoTenabled proactive service, often referred to as predictive or preventative service, is becoming the new normal.
In a recent column written by Michael Blumberg titled Strategic Forces Shaping The Deployment of IoT & M2M, he points to two of the drivers of this shift: social forces and economic forces. On the social side, Blumberg says, “For service providers, it is no longer just about finding ways to reduce the time and cost associated with troubleshooting and maintenance. In order to optimize productivity and efficiency and to facilitate innovation in a service business, you need data. While service executives have understood this for some time, end-customers now understand and appreciate that they also need access to this same data in order to optimize the operations and processes that comprise their enterprise.” So you’ve known the value of data and how it drives action and decision making for quite some time, but your customers are now recognizing the value of data, too. And this is contributing to an increase in the use of IoT solutions, and both your operation and your customers find great value in the data they provide.
Costs Of M2M, IoT Come Down
As for the second force Blumberg discussed, economic forces, the premise is simple — the cost of implementing M2M and IoT solutions has decreased rapidly in recent years. This makes the technology more attainable for a wider group of users, and as adoption continues to rise, we’ll see a cycle of increased familiarity, greater adoption, and lower costs.
If you aren’t already looking at how M2M and IoT can play a part in your operation, now is the time to do so. Not only can the technology enable your organization to operate far more efficiently, but it will allow you to embrace the shift from a reactive service model to a far superior, proactive service approach.