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The Internet of Things is ready to go mainstream

Dr Bhatnagar is President of IoT solutions company Aeris Communications and chairs the IET’s specialist panel, which organises an annual IoT Congress in India.

Having seen the evolution of connected technology in India, Dr Bhatnagar insists that in 2019, “IoT is business as usual and will be the driver of significant competitive advantage.”

In the past few years, it’s been emerging markets such as India that have invested heavily in IoT, but Dr Bhatnagar thinks that times are changing.

He considers where IoT is in the ‘hype cycle,’ the life cycle that technology goes through from initial idea to maturity and widespread adoption.  

“IoT to a very large extent has achieved the final stage, the Plateau of Productivity, in the emerging markets,” Dr Bhatnagar says. “Investors have started realising the benefits in large-scale transformation programmes.”

“Organisations operating in developed markets can skip what’s called the Trough of Disillusionment, avoiding the mistakes that others have made in their journeys. They can learn from the emerging markets’ success stories, including how to create the right sized opportunities and how to build a strong IoT ecosystem.”

The benefits of getting on board

So what kind of benefits can organisations expect from investing in IoT? “It has the potential to make workplace life and business processes much more productive and efficient,” Dr Bhatnagar says.

He gives “location tracking” as one example: “As is already the case in many hospitals, internet connected equipment and devices will be geographically tagged, which will save workers time hunting things down and will save money by reducing loss rate.”

According to Dr Bhatnagar, IoT offers benefits to all sectors, so no organisation can afford to ignore it.

“It’s an amalgamation of two industries — manufacturing and services — which means that no sector will be untouched by the IoT revolution,” he says. “Connected technology is disrupting and bringing innovation to the existing processes of various companies.”

There are still challenges around adopting IoT, including getting more support from the legal regulatory framework, the cost of solutions and recruiting people with the right skills to implement them.

Security, Dr Bhatnagar says, is also an issue, but stakeholders are keen to address it. “The risk of letting connectedness be controlled by technology owners, rather than by users, poses a clear risk and a significant design challenge.

“I feel there is an increased level of understanding and acceptability now, with all sectors becoming aware of the benefits that IoT has to offer.”

An opportunity to explore IoT

One way that organisations can get more involved in IoT is by attending events which bring together key stakeholders from industry, government and academia. These are opportunities to share business case studies, discuss approaches to challenges and review progress with IoT.

“Our experience has been that events, such as the IET’s IoT India Congress and Living in the Internet of Things, break down silos and get people together. After all, IoT is a platform business,” Dr Bhatnagar says.

“At such events, we discuss the future of IoT, firmly grounded in experiences of the past. We also provide all attendee groups – be it corporate executives, start-ups, academics, government – with key takeaways that could be readily applied to their areas of work.”

Dr Bhatnagar adds that he likes to think of such events as “pit stops” for interested parties. “They’re a culmination of the great work we do throughout the year and they keep us going in our efforts to realise the benefits of IoT.”

Discover what IoT could do for your organisation and how you can ensure it’s safe, secure and resilient. Join Dr Bhatnagar and many more at Living in the IoT: realising the socioeconomic benefits of an interconnected world at IET London: Savoy Place, 1-2 May 2019.

The fourth edition of the IoT India congress will explore mainstreaming the Internet of Things and will take place later this year on 22-23 August 2019 in Bengaluru. The congress will be officially launched at an event later this month in New Delhi.