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IoT: Finding business value beyond the hype

01 October 2020

There is plenty of buzz around IoT technology, but no shortage of misconceptions. Lofty figures and grand statements are commonly thrown around. But the bottom line is that IoT must deliver a commercial benefit to the organisation. A constructive discussion of IoT should therefore focus on business outcomes, achieving clear key performance indicators (KPIs) and delivering a real return on investment (ROI).

The top-down approach: first focus on business outcomes

Use cases for IoT are already prolific and serve a wide range of markets and needs – manufacturing, transportation (especially for fleet management and freight monitoring), smart cities, government (public safety) and agriculture, among others.

The value of IoT is that it facilitates access to new data sets that provide insight into how to you can adapt or change business models and enhance existing business processes. For this reason, an IoT project should not be IT-centred. Rather, it should be owned by the business itself.

This is why our conversations with clients always focus on a business need rather than the technology itself – where do you need greater efficiency, for example? Which processes need improving? A design-thinking approach helps articulate and address business challenges and agree on the desired business outcome. Once this is established, KPIs can be defined.

A bright future for IoT

Traditional network businesses are set to be disrupted with the arrival of 5G, which will provide a completely different paradigm for IoT. Deployment architecture is likely to become less complex, more accessible and affordable. As communication infrastructure is critical to support IoT, the capabilities promised by 5G are sure to be a game changer, unlocking a new world of potential.

Dimension Data is a founding member of the IoT Industry Council, a non-profit organisation that was constituted on 15 March 2019 to accelerate the uptake of IoT technologies in southern Africa and promote best practices and standards. It brings key industry players and technology users together in a cooperative ecosystem.

With such initiatives, the future of IoT in South Africa shines bright, and we’re excited about what lies ahead. It might be time to ask how your business is preparing for the IoT revolution that’s on the horizon. Find out more about how Dimension Data can equip your business.