While there are many use cases for IoT, the success or failure of an IoT driven system will depend on the deployment architectures and infrastructural needs. IoT devices need electricity to run and some sort of network to transmit or share information. As organizations put in IoT solutions in place they need to validate their assumptions about the availability of infrastructure required for running that solution.
Internet of Things has large implications on many types of industries. While very large factories always had automation to report the status of equipment, IoT brings that visibility to all types of products and services – starting from smart electric meters that report electricity consumption hourly to the electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) to companies tracking the status of a car engine or even an air conditioning unit. IoT will play a major role in the transformation of India into a digital economy – as the catalyst that empowers our citizens by providing them with transparent governance and services (education, health, legal, financial and safety) at their fingertips. IoT enhances the customer experience and allows businesses to transform operations, planning, reporting or services. IoT-based solutions are not just for urban India; they offer rural citizens access to services that were earlier out of reach. IoT has leveraged to offer high-quality remote education in high schools across the country. Many verticals such as manufacturing, automotive, IT/ITeS, consumer, healthcare already have presence in the entire IoT scheme of things. Gurudutt M, Director, Channel India & SAARC, Schneider Electric excerpts, “IoT will function as a source of innovation, business model disruption and economic growth for businesses, governments and emerging economies.”
“IBM has a well planned on-boarding program drawn which ensures the necessary training and certifications are completed by the channel partner to support the cutting edge IoT.”
VP-Global Business Partners & System Integrators
IBM India and South Asia
IoT has the potential to create and deliver value to the enterprise and customer alike. IoT has the benefit of maximizing operational efficiency at multiple levels by turning data collected into sustainable solutions. This data can be used for predictive analysis hence reducing possible downtime and increasing profitable operations. Jacques Goudet, CIO, Alcatel Lucent Enterprise says, “ IoT is not a single technology, it is a whole bundle of new generation technologies – sensors, new applications, machine-to-machine interfacing, machine learning, predictive analytics, geo-location, wearables and augmented reality. The network infrastructure is what brings all these technologies and solutions together – without it, you have disparate collections of smart technologies never achieving their potential.”
“IoT is not a single technology, it is a whole bundle of new generation technologies – sensors, new applications, machine-to-machine interfacing, machine learning, predictive analytics, geo-location, wearables and augmented reality.”
Alcatel Lucent Enterprise
Organizations need to move forward from old approaches to IP networking, and embrace the New IP which is flexible and futureproof network. Based on open standards, the New IP is a user-centric, software-defined, agile and secure networking model purpose-built to fit the massive shifts seen in IOT. The New IP – a new type of network that offers more automated and dynamic range of capabilities based on software and virtualization – will play a major role in IOT. The New IP will help organizations to evolve based on business priorities, whether by overlaying new software services on top of your existing IT infrastructure or evolving to an Ethernet Fabric. At the same time, these networks can protect vast amounts of data and analytics with designed-in, open, behavior-based and self-learning security. Over the last few years the Internet of Things has come to the forefront, with sensors and actuators becoming more common. Elevators, cars, trains, planes, floors, pipelines – they can all be connected – sharing crucial information on their condition or use. There’s already over 29 billion things connected, and recording, and processing data. Which is why, the IoT is well on its way to generating $11 trillion in economic activity by 2025.
“The Internet of Things represents not just new technology, but a new way of thinking about technology and its uses.”
Middleware Oracle India
The Internet of Things (IoT) is touching every technology sector around the world, and it’s having a significant impact on how enterprises and consumers interact with machines and devices.APIs, Security, Augmented Reality, Blockchain , Digital Twin are increasingly gaining prominence in the IOT World. 94% of companies believe that IOT will impact market and industries over the next 3 years.IDC estimates more than 80 percent of IoT spend through 2020 will be on B2B applications and use cases. The Internet of Things will be one of the primary drivers of the digital transformation that enterprises will undergo in the coming years, creating a self-learning environment that will drive digital disruption in physical world. IoT will be a critical piece of this transformation as it allows new business models to emerge and enables changes in work processes, productivity improvements, cost containment and enhanced customer experiences.
“IoT will function as a source of innovation, business model disruption and economic growth for businesses, governments and emerging economies.”
Channel India & SAARC
Bharat Bhushan, Head, Products and Engineering, Radius Synergies International Pvt Ltd opines, “Looking at the Indian context where there are huge mass markets, possibly every vertical stands to benefit from IOT adoption. However, looking at the government policies and push, utilities, industries and healthcare seem to be the most promising areas. Also, looking at the current maturity state of some of these sectors, the adoption would need to be gradual and in a phased manner.”
“IoT can revolutionize Industries by enabling digital transformation of businesses, facilitating new business models, improving efficiency, generating new forms of revenue and save costs.”
Principal Systems Engineer
& Lead Technical Consultant
Excitement amongst Indian SMEs for IoT
IoT, is one promising technology that can help Indian enterprises raise the bar for productivity and efficiency to a different level. IoT implementations are happening in various sectors like manufacturing, automotive, retail, security, healthcare, construction, transportation, telecommunications, and many more. Even at this early stage, IoT is starting to have a real impact by changing how goods are made and distributed, how products are serviced and refined, and how doctors and patients manage health and wellness. The value of IoT lies in enriching data collected from devices with analytics and exposing it to applications that enable organizations to derive business value. “IoT can revolutionize Industries by enabling digital transformation of businesses, facilitating new business models, improving efficiency, generating new forms of revenue and save costs”, says George Chacko, Principal Systems Engineer & Lead Technical Consultant, Brocade India.
“IoT has the potential of enabling organizations to utilize resources much more efficiently and deriving large benefits.”
Senior Director Product Management
IoT has the potential to make distribution system much more efficient. Anshuman Singh, Senior Director Product Management, Application Security, Barracuda Networks shares his view. He said, “There is a huge potential in India to use IoT and improve the delivery various schemes the Central and State Governments are rolling out. IoT has the potential of enabling organizations to utilize resources much more efficiently and deriving large benefits.”IoT by itself has lots of benefits but in many cases it needs to be paired with Big Data Analytics to be really effective.
“Looking at the Indian context where there are huge mass markets, possibly every vertical stands to benefit from IOT adoption.”
Head, Products and Engineering
Radius Synergies International Pvt Ltd
For example, there are many IoT deployments where various IoT based sensors are sending data back to the vendor that either manufactured the equipment or was hired to maintain them. The data coming back is in large quantities and true value of information can only be realized by analysing the data thoroughly. Sunil Mehra, Vice President, Middleware, Oracle India says, “The Internet of Things represents not just new technology, but a new way of thinking about technology and its uses. To say that this potential multi-trillion-dollar market will affect business is a gross understatement. Businesses can no longer ignore the potential of this opportunity. While it may seem daunting to put in place the infrastructure to tap the value from IoT enabled systems, cloud has made the technology accessible, affordable and manageable.”
“With IOT, systems collect a lot of data which is good and at times can be vulnerable to viruses. In addition, this data can be misused for destructive purposes.”
Kingston Technology – India
Security is the Biggest Concern in IoT
Along with its benefits, IoT also opens up several security risks. Since IoT is a concept of devices talking to one another, there is a lot of data transfer happening which is vulnerable to cyber threats as well. Cyber-attacks can compromise connected devices such as cameras, smart watches, smart cars and even smart homes, apart from mobile and computing devices. It is also a challenge to incorporate security modules in these small devices which stay connected to the Internet. As attackers are now highly aware of insufficient IoT security, many pre-program their malware with commonly used and default passwords, allowing them to easily hijack IoT devices. Poor security on many IoT devices makes them easy targets, and often victims may not even know they have been infected.
There are several traditional threat vectors, including network, email, web application, user, mobile, and remote access. These continue to be the primary targets, but we also see the emergence of new threat vectors such as the Internet of Things. Companies have to continue to focus on threat vectors, as well as harden endpoints and identity management.
The Data Centers which store large volumes of data from multiple IoT devices are easy targets for hackers, making it a challenge for organisations to protect data. Within data center infrastructure, organisations need to implement segmented, multi layer protection systems. Also, streamlining security policies followed within the organization will also help in having a holistic security system.
“With IOT, systems collect a lot of data which is good and at times can be vulnerable to viruses. To add to this, data theft is crime that will be on the rise. Chances are that this data can be misused for destructive purposes. Without adequate data security, data can be exploited. While Kingston has a monopolistic global market share, its products help prevent loss, theft and data leakage. Besides this, by backing up your files on a USB drive, you can recover the information, which adds to the security”, says Vishal Parekh, Marketing Director, Kingston Technology – India. The company has recently introduced an exemplary solution that do justice to the notion of securing data in the form of Data Traveler Vault Privacy 3.0 USB drive – with options of remote access and anti-virus protection from ESET/ClevX. So not only is it fast, its contents are always away from viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms, root kits, adware and other Internet-borne threats.
Role of Channel Partners in IoT
Any new idea or technology needs to have early adopters who are technology savvy and ready to experiment. IoT also being a relatively new area, it requires a technology sales mindset as well as a need generation approach because initially, due to the conventional mindset, it might appear to be a “good to have” thing. But once the benefits and value add becomes explicit, it will get translated to a “must to have” thing. Channel partners have a vital role to play in IoT. We’ve seen the channel have to make adjustments over the years anytime end-user IT purchasing and deployment decisions change course, and the age of the cloud is no different. Moving forward in 2017 we’re going to see traditional VARs have to adjust the way they approach customers in everything from the conversations they’re having to the solutions they sell and support.
As part of the channel strategy, IBM has been focusing on ensuring that right technical knowledge and skill set to be imparted within the channel community. The company has been organizing on quarterly bases training workshops and certification programs to build the necessary capacity. On regular basis it is having global technical and channel leaders visiting India to support this ongoing knowledge building activity. According to Mukul Mathur, VP-Global Business Partners and System Integrators at IBM India and South Asia, “ IBM has a well planned on-boarding program drawn which ensures the necessary training and certifications are completed by the channel partner to support the cutting edge IoT.”
Today in India sectors like Automotive, Industrial, Insurance & Agriculutre are in the forefront of adopting IoT to delivery better value to the customer or launch a new line of business. It is important to the partner to build the right set of domain knowledge specific to these industry segments. Also we need to remember that IoT is an ecosystem play where the platform needs to be open to share data to other organisations or connect data from other platforms.