Sunday 29, May 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, recently unveiled its IoT 2020 Business Report, outlining the company’s predictions for how large organizations will leverage Internet of Things technologies as a serious business tool by 2020.
The GCC region has been steadily investing in enhancing IT capabilities and digital readiness and has been known for its widespread adoption of cloud technologies. Similarly, the region’s forward-looking governments have been quick on jump to the IoT bandwagon to help its industries, cities and people live a better connected, safer and greener life. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the total IoT spending in the Middle East will reach $1.8 billion in 2016 and then increase to $3.2 billion by 2019, with manufacturing, transportation, and utilities accounting for up to 50% of this total. Vendors and solution providers must be quick to adapt their offerings to be compatible with the IoT, as it provides visibility to ensure proactive management of assets and can propel the region’s vision to design intelligent and eco-friendly cities.
“We’re past the point of questioning whether IoT will deliver value. Businesses now need to make informed decisions to position themselves to maximize IoT’s value in their organization,” said Dr. Prith Banerjee, Chief Technology Officer, Schneider Electric. “Our IoT 2020 Business Report is designed to serve as a guide for IoT implementation and innovation to help customers reap its benefits as the market evolves over the next five years. It reflects our commitment in delivering technologies that ensure Life Is On everywhere, for everyone, at every moment.”
Based on a recent global IoT survey of 3,000 business leaders in 12 countries, in addition to Schneider Electric’s expertise with IoT solutions and feedback from its customers and partners, the predictions showcase the immediate value for both the public and private sector.
Dr. Banerjee added: “The Internet of Things has been at the top of the hype curve for some time, but the findings of this survey demonstrate that IoT technologies can and will continue to drive real business value across industries and geographies.”
The following predictions serve as a guide for what business leaders can expect as the market evolves:
1. The next wave of digital transformation. IoT will trigger the next wave of enterprise digital transformation, unifying the worlds of OT and IT and fueling a mobile and digitally enabled workforce: As more companies both expand and deepen their digitization programs enterprise- wide, IoT will increasingly take center stage. This new wave of transformation will be enabled by more affordable “connected” sensors, embedded intelligence and control, faster and more ubiquitous communications networks, cloud infrastructure, and advanced data-analytics capabilities.
2. Insightful data. IoT will translate previously untapped data into insights that enable enterprises to take the customer experience to the next level: When thinking about the value proposition of IoT, most businesses point to efficiency and cost savings as the key benefits. Yet access to data – including previously untapped data – and the ability to translate it into actionable insights, the hallmark of IoT, will deliver greater customer-service transformation and new opportunities to build brand/service loyalty and satisfaction.
3. Premise-to-cloud confidence. The IoT will promote an open, interoperable and hybrid computing approach, and it will foster industry and government collaboration on global architecture standards that address cybersecurity concerns: While cloud-based IoT solutions will grow in popularity, no single computing architecture will monopolize their delivery. IoT instead will flourish across systems, both at the edge and on premise, as part of private cloud or public cloud offerings. Making IoT available across heterogeneous computing environments will help end users adopt IoT solutions in the way that best suits their security and mission-critical needs while also offering entities with legacy technology infrastructures a logical and manageable path forward, allowing them to transform over time.
4. Innovations that leapfrog existing infrastructure. IoT will function as a source of innovation, business model disruption and economic growth for businesses, governments and emerging economies: Just as the Industrial Revolution, birth of the Internet and mobile revolution have driven advancement, innovation and prosperity, so will IoT. Businesses and cities alike will deliver new IoT-enabled services; new business models will emerge; and, in particular emerging economies will have a significant opportunity to quickly leverage IoT without the constraint of legacy infrastructure, essentially leapfrogging old ways. In fact, McKinsey forecasts that 40 percent of the worldwide market for IoT solutions will be generated by developing countries.
5. A better planet. IoT solutions will be leveraged to address major societal and environmental issues: IoT will help countries and their economies respond to the biggest challenges facing our planet, including global warming, water scarcity and pollution. In fact, survey respondents identified improved resource utilization as the number one benefit of IoT to society as a whole. In concert with the private sector, local and national governments will embrace IoT to accelerate and optimize current initiatives to curtail greenhouse gas emissions in accord with the breakthrough COP21 climate agreement, whereby 196 countries pledged to keep global warming under the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius.
The key global survey findings that informed the predictions revealed:
• Seventy-five percent of businesses are optimistic about the opportunities the IoT presents this year, including:Improved customer experience: Sixty-three percent of organizations plan to use the IoT to analyze customer behavior in 2016, with faster problem resolution, better customer service and customer satisfaction ranking among the top five potential business benefits.Cost savings in automation: Building and industrial automation represent the highest potential annual cost savings (63 and 62 percent, respectively). Results showed automation technologies will be the future of the IoT, with nearly half (42 percent) of respondents indicating that they plan to implement IoT-enabled building automation systems within the next two years.Mobile delivers the value of IoT: Two out of three organizations (67 percent) plan to implement the Internet of Things via mobile applications in 2016. Even further, one- third of respondents (32 percent) plan to start using the IoT in mobile applications in as little as six months, citing potential cost savings of up to 59 percent as a major driver in implementation.
• 81 percent of respondents feel that knowledge gathered from the data and/or informationgenerated by the IoT is being shared effectively throughout the organization.
• 41 percent of respondents anticipate cybersecurity threats related to the IoT as being a critical challenge for their business.