There's huge potential for Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. According to McKinsey & Company, IoT markets could generate more than $11 trillion per year in economic value by 2025. What's more, the firm found that the "hype" surrounding IoT "may actually understate the full potential."
However, it's one thing to speculate about the potential impact of these connected devices and another to identify technologies that enable true long-term value. After all, the IoT is more than just having an electronic toothbrush that tracks every time your kids brush their teeth.
IoT cloud service is a rising star in the communications market, as highlighted by the Internet of Things World 2017 conference in Santa Clara, California. Here's a look at key takeaways from the event and what they mean for the future of IoT in business.
The Value Problem
IoT collaboration technology enjoys substantial consumer interest, business curiosity, and general hype. The problem is that translating great concepts into hard-and-fast market value isn't always easy. For example, recent Cisco research has found that 60 percent of business IoT efforts "stall at the proof of concept (POC) stage," according to Market Wired. In addition, just 26 percent of companies have deployed an IoT initiative they consider a "complete success."
In the consumer space, meanwhile, IoT device use is on the rise, but experts aren't seeing the value in these deployments. So it's no surprise that finding the actionable value in IoT was a major focus at IoT World 2017.
When it comes to a value prop for customers, "you would rather be selling aspirin than vitamins," said IoT World presenter Chris Kocher of Grey Heron Venture Consulting. In other words, the IoT is long on potential, and short on straightforward applications. For both enterprises and startups, it describes a shift away from "gimmick" IoT devices to those that generate observable value.
For example, one new solution debuted at IoT World from Cambium Networks focused on "frictionless" Wi-Fi offerings to easily connect multiple IoT devices across both indoor and outdoor environments. Combined with effective IoT cloud service, this type of value-first offering creates the ideal space for telecommunications companies to enhance their offerings and improve customer satisfaction.
All for One, One for All
As noted by speaker Lou Lutostanski, VP of IoT at Avnet, attendees were at the conference to "gain a deeper understanding of partners in the ecosystem and see how we fit and how we can use them for a full-blown solution for multiple customers." In other words, effective IoT doesn't happen in isolation.
Consider mobile communications: Cloud-based VoIP linked to effective analytics, empowered by agile security efforts, and connected to value-added IoT devices such as video cameras and recording tools isn't possible in a one-provider ecosystem. As Forbes notes, Android is the dominant mobile and IoT operating system, with more than 10,000 devices now trying to achieve full Android compliance. As a result, the IoT space is "incredibly, unbelievably heterogeneous" and demands the evolution of industrywide interoperability standards.
Evolving Use Cases
IoT World 2017 also dove into the evolving use cases of IoT technology as they relate to real-world value. IoT for All describes key areas of growth, including smart cars, cities, and energy grids. However, there's also an effort to improve existing communications technology as a way to solve emerging bandwidth and speed challenges created when companies rely on streaming rich-media solutions to conduct daily operations. Emerging wireless technologies such as Li-Fi, which transmits high-speed data through visible light, could enhance offerings to supplement download speeds and enhance security.
All these emerging solutions have one thing in common: the cloud. While edge and fog computing are also becoming key players in IoT, the true value of connected devices — especially for communication — is unlocked with reliable IoT cloud service. This encompasses bandwidth pipelines big enough to handle large data volumes, interoperability standards to seamlessly link devices, and agile infrastructure capable of embracing new technologies to deliver ROI.
IoT World 2017's priorities send a clear message: Connected device developers are changing focus, moving away from simple proofs of concept to embrace the need for clear business value, championed by the rise of IoT cloud service.
Contact Vonage Business to learn more about how cloud-based communications can aid your company.