Publication Name: CXO Today
Date: July 2015
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the buzzword, with every business exploring what’s in it for them. The enhanced capabilities to analyze data and the ability to derive value to make insighful decisions has given IoT a new significance, says R R Bipin, VP-Digital Services-IoT, Product Engineering Business, Tata Elxsi.
In an interaction with CXOToday, Bipin elaborates on the changing business paradigms with companies realizing the need to adopt IoT enabled solutions.
What is the essence of IoT in a changing business scenario?
In current business scenario, customers are asking what is in IoT for them in particular. IoT as such is not so much about technology alone, but how that technology is transforming businesses. It is critical to understand how every product is becoming a platform for service delivery. It is about how it enables the provider of the product to deliver services and also manage utility of the product. There is a corresponding change. When products become services, the real connect that people have with the product and the product experience will change. We start interacting with products in a cohesive way. With rising expectations, there is a lot of design-led innovation happening. Convergence of that and IoT is very interesting.
What are key challenges in IoT adoption?
Challenges are pervasive across verticals. On top of all is ensuring connectivity as none is ready for downtime or outages. The machines need to have redundancies built into the system. Robustness of systems is fundamental. Secondly, data security and data privacy. It is important to ensure that while the solution exists, its implementation with a proper security cover is important. It is essential to consider how the data can be used and how we can have the right framework.
What are fundamental criteria for a company to adopt IoT?
ROI is the prime concern because it is a measurable outcome. Before adopting a new solution one needs to answer many questions: How do you increase efficiency of your business, how to maximise usage, how do you increase your customer base and how do we make better use of resources.
IoT doesn’t have a standard, but what is needed is to see that the platform has the ability to aggregate multiple protocols. The platforms need to mature where they can handle multiple protocols without compromising on robustness of the framework. That is the key.
Businesses must ask, what is the measurable business outcome that an IoT enablement can provide. An IoT solution comprises a broad range of technologies across devices, cloud and connectivity from delivery engine. Possibilities are huge. Today, platform or domain specific modules are not the fundamental differentiators, but how do you use this data and what kind of interventions that data enables. All these needs to be packaged into a product. An IoT solution is linked to a product and it is the heart of the product, but it is not the product in itself.
How can the CIO know the right time to go for IoT?
Every CIO faces a constraint in bottomline and topline as there is constant pressure to maximize productivity, increase usage of resources and ensure satisfaction to customers. In IoT, one needs to looks at what are the business use cases where there is scope to increase productivity or improve efficiency, or where there is highest pressure. That area could have the potential to implement an IoT enabled solution. The CIO could bring in a sensor, data aggregator or gateway which helps monitor that system on a continuous basis to ensure a result that is devoid of human errors. More importantly, the ability to do analytics on this data in a comprehensive manner will change the outlook. Look at the corrective action that you can drive. The ability to drive right analytical engine and refine them continuously to get to the business goals will directly drive opportunity to improve ROI.
What are the prospects of IoT adoption in healthcare?
Unlike traditional consumer markets like electronic products, telehealth has market specificities related to geographies or the kind of health issues it addresses.
The whole concept of telemedicine, telecare and telehealth goes beyond monitoring and bedside care to real critical care to prevent life changing situations or ensure interventions at the right time because in the medical world, time is the essence.
Look at conditions like brain related issues, there is something called deep brain stimulator with a battery feed. No matter how much sensitisation is done, there is a risk of life. Life changing situations can happen if the battery fails. In such situations, we need an alert system, we need someone to know that a situation has arisen so that help can be rushed. So, IoT is more about getting the right care at the right time. Relevant information is important to ensure care reaches on time.