Authored by Sukumal Banerjee, Corporate Vice President – ERS Sales (Hi Tech & Comm), Head – IoT WoRKS, HCL
We have much to thank the fourth industrial revolution for it is gradually shaping a world that is more transparent, efficient, and independent. In a fast-digitalizing landscape, we are experiencing the need for technology to be the bedrock of sustainable development. The Internet of Things (IoT), along with Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Blockchain, continue to shape our future fundamentally.
Business models and digital strategies are heavily relying on the tools of the day to create an ecosystem that is sustainably progressive. The impact of IoT cannot be emphasized enough in this disruptive paradigm. As we further the IoT journey, the world will see new cross-industry partnerships and innovative business models. This will result in the cost of deployment and subsequently generated value being shared by all stakeholders and the outreach across spectrums.
As the number of connected devices see an unprecedented increase, the vast amount of data will create unique opportunities for improving services and livability. What are the opportunities that leaders and businesses can capitalize on to create a sustainable future using data and connectivity? The question is complex, but the answer is not. In a hyper-connected world constantly focusing on hyper-consumerism, the value generation will depend on IoT in a big way.
IoT’s impact is multilateral and overarching. Some of the key areas that stand to be benefited are:
- Optimization of work environments and improved worker safety: Shop floors and similar work environments are seething with safety hazards. IoT can help in monitoring and controlling the conditions like temperature, air quality, humidity, and lighting in such work environments. Additionally, wearables for safety of the workers can be leveraged to keep a track of the individuals’ conditions and send timely alerts to centralized systems in case of emergencies. Interventions such as these will not only provide a safer work environments but will also improve the overall performance of the workforce. With safety comes greater efficiency.
- Better, more affordable healthcare: The aging population is growing rapidly, specifically in the developed countries, thereby, straining the healthcare systems. IoT has the potential to deliver value in such a scenario by enabling doctors to monitor and treat patients remotely and preempt the onset of illnesses with timely data and insights on patient health.
- Improved movement of people and goods: Fleet management systems which leverage IoT technologies to monitor vehicle movement in real time can be used for route optimization. This leads to reduction in fuel consumption and improved transit times across the supply chain. Such solutions can be deployed effectively in transport of both goods and people as well.
- Natural disaster monitoring and prevention: We are now seeing some traction in IoT applications that can warn us of impending natural disasters or even prevent the death and destruction caused by these distressing events. These applications can also be extended to facilitating efficient rescue and recovery efforts. For instance, effective prediction involves identifying hazard areas and potential triage zones on maps, facilitating communication through platforms, which don’t depend on cellular networks or landlines. Sensors with high sensitivity and meters with greater data capabilities are being used to provide early warning systems for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
One World, One Ecosystem
The key tenet of Globalization 4.0 is bringing the world together and, thereby, add value to lives and businesses. The myriad of innovations are being leveraged in varied scale in that quest. For a truly globalized world, data analysis and connectivity have to be on point. It is, therefore, obvious that IoT will only grow in stature and its utility will stretch over time. While IoT applications offer promise in varied areas, we are still grappling with challenges related to security, interoperability, and the sustainability. Hence, it goes without saying that platforms such as WEF are seminal to bringing relevant stakeholders on the same page and facilitating significant deliberations in pursuit of resolution of some of these challenges.
At HCL IoT WoRKS, our vision is line with the moot topic of WEF 2019: Creation of sustainable solutions to bring the world together in the true essence of Globalization 4.0. After all, it is the one world that we all share.