Strategy for the total Internet connection to products and services of all economic sectors

Barcelona, January 24, 2019.- IoT, Internet of Things, is a concept that falls short of the tsunami of the digital revolution in which we live. The internet connection, either by cable or by mobile (5G), will be a standard as the power button on any appliance. And, of course, this reality will affect the supply chain, the way of understanding the new urban mobility, the new last mile, the new reverse logistics. Next, we have selected the latest diagnoses in this month of January, to contribute to the reflection of the professionals who manage the information systems in the transport and logistics companies.

Forrester analysts predict that “in 2019, the term ‘IoT’ will take a back seat in the marketing lexicon, with vendors of these solutions reverting to language that describes business solutions and outcomes, such as ‘real-time asset performance monitoring’ — a combination of IoT, data, analytics, workflow, business process, and insight with recognizable and quantifiable value.”

“We’ll see IoT (but not cloud) platform vendors narrow their focus on specific use cases and tout their APIs and capabilities for integration with enterprise applications, analytics, and security management,” the Forrester analysts write. “However, these two hyperscale clouds will continue to feverishly compete to be the destination for other IoT platforms, in addition to refining their own. In 2019, we expect each to deliver IoT platform partnership announcements, similar to what we’ve seen with Microsoft and PTC, to expand and improve the use cases they serve. We expect Google to be more aggressive, too, not by acquisition but by courting similar partnerships.”

“In 2019 we’ll see the emergence of an IoT ‘run’ market to help manage, monitor, and operate the fragmented array of IoT networks, devices, and assets,” The Forrester analysts write. “These offerings will target the ever-expanding array of smart products as well as the networks and platforms to enable IoT solutions. IoT stakeholders, primarily in the manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and utilities markets, will sign several $100 million-plus contracts with outsourcing providers for “run” offerings.”

Skip IoT pilots and jump straight into a deployment

According to the World Economic Forum, 71% of industrial organizations found themselves stuck in limbo during an IoT pilot phase in 2018.

A pilot can stall for a variety of reasons. Some lack the needed support from upper management, others bite off more than they can chew – making it near impossible to scale – while others start without setting a clear business objective against which to measure results.

If you were considering launching a pilot last year, but found yourself needing more time, you may be at an advantage. While your initiative was on pause, countless pilots moved forward during that time, proving IoT to work in real and diverse business settings. This presents the option to learn from those that came before you, helping further decrease risk while driving optimal results. No pilot needed.

This approach can produce a number of benefits, including accelerating the adoption of IoT across your organization, cost savings from repurposing strategies and best practices from other successful deployments, and achieving ROI faster by not wasting time proving what others have already proven.

Mix edge and cloud solutions in your IoT deployments

Have you delayed using the cloud for your IoT deployments due to security concerns? You are not alone. Many industrial companies reject the cloud in favor of on-premise technology to satisfy stringent security requirements.

However, as familiarity with the cloud – and its capabilities – spreads throughout the industrial sector, more businesses are beginning to trust, and even prefer cloud solutions.

As confidence builds, organizations will open up to the opportunity to enhance operations and ROI by harnessing the power of the cloud mixed with edge computing in 2019. While approaching cloud and edge separately, in isolation, can prove beneficial for several use cases, there are many advantages to layering edge computing into cloud workflows.

So, as you start out the new year, consider your options for distributing processing power and optimizing your deployment architecture. No matter where you fall on the edge-to-cloud spectrum, it’s important to choose a computing approach that best fits your business needs.

For example, if you are a large manufacturer, it might make sense for you to leverage server-class equipment on your factory floor to aggregate information and make decisions before contacting the cloud. Yet, if you are a company with a small fleet of trucks, you might use a gateway device that is meant to handle a smaller number of endpoints. In an extreme example, you might even run logic directly on a sensor.

Consider apps instead of a one-size-fits-all platform

In 2018, it became readily apparent that industrial environments are too unique and complex to effectively implement IoT with a one-size-fits-all software platform. As a result, IoT platform vendors are working to improve flexibility by offering a broader range of services as well as IoT applications through partnerships with leading cloud service providers, such as AWS or Microsoft Azure.

This development not only gives customers greater access to tailored solutions, but it also ensures organizations get the built-in security, higher availability, and greater scale they require.

As IoT applications become more available via cloud providers, adding IoT capabilities will become easier for companies. This will help to standardize data collection and processing, significantly reducing time to value. This accessibility will also help expand the reach of IoT beyond industrial verticals with high value assets, such as manufacturing and oil & gas, to other areas such as e-commerce and retail.

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