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

The top-down approach: first focus on business outcomes

Use cases for IoT are already prolific and serve a 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 you can adapt or change business models and enhance business processes. For this reason, an IoT project should not be IT-centered but rather owned by the business itself.

This is why our conversations with our clients always focus on a business need rather than the technology itself: where do they need greater efficiency, for example? Which processes need improving? A design-thinking approach helps to 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 organizations are set to be disrupted by the arrival of 5G, which provides a completely different paradigm for IoT. Deployment architecture is likely to become less complex, more accessible and affordable. As communication infrastructure is critical to supporting IoT, the capabilities promised by 5G are sure to unlock a new world of potential.

Dimension Data is a founding member of the IoT Industry Council, a non-profit organization 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.

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