CIO Prediction: 2017, the year for IoT disruption

IOT is gaining popularity among Indian enterprises, government and consumers, but security concerns and the lack of trust is limiting its adoption in the short run. Ankush Kumar spoke to key CIOs on how they see the adoption of IoT in 2017.

India has witnessed a major digital push in the last couple of years under transformational projects like Digital India, Smart Cities, Startup India, etc. While the past years have seen the adoption of disruptive technologies like cloud, big data, mobility; the year 2017 will largely emphasis on  integrating all of these technologies and providing seamless connectivity across all platforms.

As the basis of connectivity remains internet, IoT integrates smart objects to the Internet by enabling uninterrupted data exchange and bringing users information in a secure way. India stands as the world’s second largest internet user base with cheapest internet data plans, but still there are nearly 950 million citizens who are not connected which also shows the ocean of opportunity that IoT will bring to the economy.

Market Opportunity and Growth Drivers

According to a latest report by GE in collaboration with Nasscom and Deloitte, industry would be the driver for IoT revolution with utilities, manufacturing, automotive and healthcare seeing a greater opportunity than other sectors as consumers shy away from smart devices due to cost of IoT devices and security and privacy concerns.

The report also highlights that the IoT market in India would increase from $5.6 billion, with 200 million devices in 2016 to $15 billion with 2.7 billion devices by 2020. To understand the role of IoT in 2017, we interacted with key CIO’s across the industry to get a real insight about IoT adoption.

Talking about the importance of IoT in the year 2017, Arup Choudhary, CIO, Eveready Industries says that various industries like home appliances, pharma and medicine, automobile will see a major implementation. “Adoption has already happened in the automobile industry to some extent. This will enhance further. Home and kitchen appliances (High Value) could benefit from using this technology. Pharma industry can use this technology to monitor drug results online. Medical practitioners could monitor the vital signs of their patients anytime anywhere.”

He further informs that end customers should see significant value add. Internet connectivity should be uniform across locations. Imagine someone to be able to switch off an AC or a refrigerator while travelling. Someone could locate his car sitting in the office and also do a health check. IoT apps will certainly cash in to enrich the customer experience.

Anjani Kumar, Global CDO (Chief Digital Officer), Collabera – an IT staffing services company with more than 12,000 professionals across three continents and 40+ offices across the globe, believes that IoT will continue to change the way how a lot of industries work. “Automation and proactive alert would be the two major focus while new business models will also be powered by IoT. More industries who are right now sitting on the fence or doing prototyping will join the bandwagon. I also expect some IoT services offered as SaaS to get affordable.”

A Game Changer

Presently heading the organisation’s global digitization initiatives and with an additional role as CIO, Kumar sees IoT as a game changer for industries like healthcare, transportation & logistics. Retail would be moved to the next spot. Manufacturing industry will up the game for sure. Insurance industry as well as construction industry are getting big time in IoT implementation as well.

On the factors that will boost the adoption of IoT, N Jayantha Prabhu, CIO, Essar Group informs that declining device costs, widespread and pervasive connectivity, and an ever-increasing focus on operational efficiency and productivity will boost adaptability of IoT solutions. Some of the specific/ direct factors that will boost the adoption are increase in internet penetration; increase in market/ consumer familiarity and; reduction in cost of devices and development of connectivity technologies i.e. wireless networking.

According to Prabhu, the government sector in India seems to have taken rapid strides in certain key areas that are paving the way for IoT adoption i.e. smart city industrial corridor, energy management, transport and traffic, and water-quality management projects, in which the government is directly funding the initiative. He sees it as a good sign that will have a major impact on overall IOT adaptability in India this year.

Connecting Dots

Elucidating on some of the used cases on the IoT adoption, Prabhu also explains, in plant area, machines and computers handle the value chain autonomously, with automation controllers in operation from one end of the production line to the other. Parts being produced communicate with machines by means of a product code, which tells the machines their production requirements and which steps need to be taken next. All processes are optimized for IT control, resulting in a minimal failure rate. Employees are essentially supervising production and technology assets, including handling unexpected incidents.

He further added that sensors measure temperature, humidity, air pressure and machine operating data in real time. This not only gives the opportunity to monitor production and adjust processes in real time, but also to trace battery performance back to specific batches of powder and at every step along the process. Also critical assets on the plant floor is connected and every step in production is tracked and incorporated in a real-time performance management system.

Challenges Ahead

With so much that IoT can bring to the industry there are few major challenges that are restricting its adoption. Anjani Kumar believes skills and lack of good system integrator is major issue why it is slow in India. Another factor is education about IoT among stalwarts of industry. Technology and business leader will need to work together. Of course standardization of protocol, new sensors and better security will definitely help it.

One of the major issue is with the privacy and security that hampers its growth, informs, Harnath Babu, CIO, KPMG.”Companies in India are looking to adopt IoT ecosystem will have to overcome significant privacy, security and technological barriers. As we are moving towards the vision of smart home and office, one of the major challenges is to ensure compatibility and seamless interconnection between different devices, irrespective of the model, make, manufacturer or industry vertical. Besides these factors, IoT alone produces enormous amount of data, which makes it challenging for organizations to store and analyze this data,”

The major stakeholders in the projects around Internet of Things would be the citizens, the government and the industry. However the key to success of IoT would be in building low cost, scalable models, using security embedded sensors for collecting data and minimizing complexities for consumers.

2017adoptionAnjani KumarArup ChoudharychallengesCIOCollaberaEssar GroupEveready IndustriesHarnath BabuIOTkpmgN Jayantha Prabhuopportunitytrends
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