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Reap Multiple Benefits from the Smart Ecosystem

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Know more about the IoT ecosystem in India and how to leverage that for your business.

By Ashish Gulati

The Internet of Things (IoT) seeks to enable things to be connected any time, any place with anything or anyone. The IoT is defined as a417_Ashish_Telit worldwide network of “things” that includes identifiable devices, appliances, equipment and machinery of all forms and sizes with the intelligence to seamlessly connect, communicate and control or manage each other to perform a set of tasks with minimum intervention. It is an ecosystem of everyday physical objects connected to the Internet, capable of identifying themselves and communicating with other objects in the network. But…

The IoT is more than connecting things
The Internet of Things is all about connected life. New age gadgets have integrated networking capabilities and are hooked onto wired or wireless Internet connections. These gadgets are designed for machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, and also utilise the connectivity with smartphones and tablets for additional functionality. The data from such devices, shared over the telephonic network, is stored and accessed by smartphone and tablet apps.

Where India stands in the race
Countries such as China, US, Germany and the European Union have the highest penetration in the IoT space, with Malaysia, Korea and Japan falling in the mid-range.  In India, the Smart City and Digital India campaign will leverage the IoT to bring about changes, in addressing and solving problems that large cities face while becoming smart. Issues such as transport systems, parking, lighting, waste management, water management, women’s safety etc are areas that have the highest degrees of concern.  We will need sensors at strategic points to collect data, applications to analyse data and analytics to ensure quick decision-making.

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Issues such as transport systems, parking, lighting, waste management, water management, women’s safety etc are areas that have the highest degrees of concern.

How to leverage the IoT in India
In India, digital infrastructure is expected to create huge opportunities for technological companies across the verticals and in key applications within smart cities, smart health, and smart transport. Technology visionaries and several startups are flooding the market with smart devices and the intent is on taking this to the next level. Businesses can also reap many benefits from the IoT. A simple case is where manufacturers can remotely monitor the condition of equipment and look for indicators of imminent failures in their systems, for example, when the vibration, temperature or pressure goes beyond normal limits. This means fewer field visits for the manufacturers, lesser work burden on the employees and reduced costs. For the customer, it means less disruption, increased uptime, and ultimately, higher satisfaction. Taking this to the next level, manufacturers can offer a price-per-use, inclusive of all hardware, installation, and servicing.

Current application areas
The IoT is already having its impact on businesses. It offers organisations the opportunity to transform how they operate, and gives both new entrants and established players the ability to innovate and disrupt.
Production line monitoring and automation is one of the most mature IoT applications. By connecting production line systems, manufacturers can move to predictive maintenance, helping to make better use of resources and reducing unplanned downtime. This strategy can improve equipment utilisation and overall plant output. The end-to-end monitoring reduces the chances of loss or theft, and additional sensors can be used to verify that perishable or fragile goods are kept in appropriate conditions and handled properly throughout their journey.

Companies into the transportation business are saving millions of dollars by reducing fuel consumption using captured data, transmitted and analysed in near real-time basis. Local governments are allocating budgets to go further with light-emitting diode (LED) smart street lighting that does not need regular maintenance, and can automatically send signals when repairs are required. Utility companies are eliminating costly and inconvenient home visits to read meters by introducing smart meters that report more granular usage data without human intervention. These are just a few examples of the myriad ways in which the IoT is making new products, business models and processes possible.

There are many advantages of incorporating the IoT into our lives, to help individuals, businesses and society on a daily basis.   For individuals, this new concept can aid in many forms from health and safety to finance and everyday planning.  The integration of the IoT into the healthcare system could prove to be incredibly beneficial for both the individual and the society.  A chip could be implanted in patients, allowing hospitals to monitor their vital signs. The IoT can also function as a tool to help people save money by making home appliances communicate in an energy-efficient way.

Ecosystem development much needed
India has its own cultural market and structural challenges that can potentially hinder the IoT ecosystem from being implemented in a structured manner as per its policy guidelines.

In a country like India, growth opportunities for the IoT are massive, along with challenges too. The government is focused on incorporating IoT technology for building smart cities as per its developmental plan. India has its own cultural market and structural challenges that can potentially hinder the IoT ecosystem from being implemented in a structured manner as per its policy guidelines.  The IoT value chain in India is disconnected and fragmented, which needs to be amended. There is a shortage of component players, which is a key hindrance for design, testing and development of IoT products in India. This would however improve once the overall ecosystem of IoT is on the growth path.

The author is the country manager of Telit Wireless Solutions, India. He has sales & marketing experience of more than 15 years in the semiconductor industry and has been actively involved in the M2M market for the past six years, handling wireless communication products.

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