By Charndré Emma Kippie
The Internet of things (IoT) has become a popular area of investigation over the past 5 years, in the tech community, globally. IoT, as we know it, is a designated network of tangible gadgets—’things’—which are typically embedded with software, infrared sensor kits, and a variety of complex technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems across the Internet. This ‘technological network’ is highly beneficial for business organisations, especially, combining Internet connectivity and powerful data analytic capabilities that accelerate and optimise business processes.
FIVE KEY BENEFITS OF IOT:
Reduction of operating costs
- Better insight into consumer behaviour
- Improved productivity and enhanced efficiency
- Enhanced customer service and experience
- Improvement of workplace safety
In South Africa, IoT adoption has been off to a slow start, unfortunately, as companies are battling to find innovative ways to actually scale IoT in the country. South African chief information officers (CIOs) have understood that IoT (Internet of Things) and Machine-to-Machine communication technologies are now strategic imperatives. However, our journey is currently still in the early stages of development.
Leading important conversations around IoT and ICT Infrastructure in South Africa, is Peter Walsh, Founder and Managing Director of CommsCloud – an ICT infrastructure solutions and services company focused on fixing erroneous billing, activating cost-optimisation, and determining better resource management in a measurable way. In 2020, Peter led an insightful discussion on IoT, at the Africa Tech Week Virtual Summit. His knowledge on the topic proved to be invaluable, as industry professionals and entrepreneurs from all over Africa came together to learn what exactly it is going to take to ensure IoT’s success across the land.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM PETER WALSH’S DISCUSSION:
Acceleration Of Unified Operations
Enterprises are now climbing up the value chain faster due to IoT. These companies have become more cost-conscious, wanting to see transparent rate sheets and pooled plans. Enterprises are seeking a single point of integration in order to eliminate the frustration of dealing with multiple mobile network operators (MNOs) and multiple vendors. Now, centralised control is favoured, as well as the notion of a globally-unified API.
Value For Money
Global statistics suggest that, currently, the top spending drivers that are pushing businesses to adopt IoT technologies, are all underpinned by a growing need for efficacy and expediency. Improved security, enhanced data analytics capabilities, and improved daily operations that scale business, act as the top three attractions to IoT becoming a major addition to annual budgets. South Africa, unfortunately, faces the reality of limited funds and slow technological investment, in this regard.
Taking The Risk
There are many challenges facing enterprises seeking global connectivity, namely, privacy policies and Security regulations, as well as permanent roaming – these are the top two main concerns. Manufacturers and enterprises will ,additionally, want to avoid operator lock-in – there is a need to gain and maintain control of all processes in the organisation, and decrease security risks.
Enterprises need to integrate with carriers from different interfaces. This requires resources and considerable efforts. Therefore, in terms of IoT connectivity solutions, all new designs will need to foster IoT scales and be cost-effective. Individuals hoping to adopt IoT technologies for their businesses, need to remember that IoT is most successful when its implementation is able to ease business operations rather than complicate traditional processes. Top indicators of IoT’s success in enterprises are: resilience, high performance and low levels of network delays.
Peter Walsh, Founder and Managing Director of CommsCloud Managed Infrastructure, is known for assisting Business Executives to drive efficiency and reduce costs in relation to Information Communication and Technology. CommsCloud enables enterprises to realise real bottom-line cost savings with purpose built ICT solutions for fixed, GSM and IoT infrastructures. He specialises in Telecommunications, IT Consulting, Project Management Strategic Planning, Change Management, and Business Consulting. Prior to CommsCloud, Peter was a distribution partner for floLIVE in Africa.