There is no longer a need to prove the prospects of the Internet of Things: the explosion that is needed is now waiting only for an infrastructure solution capable of supporting the load under the best conditions of speed and security to become a reality. And for good reason, the development of the market is being driven by exponentially increasing uses: according to Cisco, there will be approximately 4 connected devices per capita by 2023, a potential of hundreds of millions of applications per year. European range. And these ratios become even more important when we take into account the expectations of companies: in the industry, energy, transportation or health sector, billions of applications can see the light of day, with great benefits: by managing their remote sites and the myriad of applications. Cases can be accessed online, User companies can record 20-30% productivity gains in managing their operations!
Whether they are data operators or potential users of IoT solutions, organizations of all sizes have an interest in engaging in a transformation that could generate more than $1 billion in additional revenue in the next three years. But to get the full value of such a deployment, there is no doubt to proceed at random: the choice of infrastructure provider will play a major role in the success or failure of the strategy pursued. How do you make the right decision at a time of such a strategic shift? What are the points to bear in mind? What KPIs should you set for your interlocutors? Elements of reply in three golden rules.
Golden Rule #1: Make sure your partner is solid
According to Microsoft, a third of companies worldwide believe they do not have the resources or manpower to complete an IoT project. In order to be adopted by as many people as possible and realize its full potential, the Internet of Things already requires the upgrading of 4G networks and the creation of 5G networks to provide the required speed, lower latency, increased device density and greater network resilience. This represents a major and costly overhaul of the existing infrastructure, including the deployment of small cells, which provide connectivity to users, as well as increasing the size of the fiber network. Therefore, your partner’s experience in designing and operating a high-speed network is a key criterion when making your decision. As such, it can be beneficial to rely on companies that have been able to develop the necessary expertise during projects in more developed areas. China, for example, now accounts for more than 70% of the global 5G market (compared to 9.5% for the US and less than 6% for Europe), and players such as China Telecom, through its European subsidiary, offer solutions that provide all the necessary guarantees in terms of connectivity and performance. Read the white paper produced in collaboration with The Economist on this topic.
Golden Rule #2: Ensure the safety of all
62% of organizations trying to develop IoT applications cite cybersecurity and threats to their data privacy as a major concern and a major reason not to bypass initial beta programs, CapGemini notes. To drive future growth, the latter will have to settle the critical long-term issue of data confidentiality. As far as wireless networks are open in nature, it is necessary to:
- Establish codes of good practice between suppliers and users to ensure transparency between the parties;
- integrate security at every stage of the IoT development project, relying in particular on consultants with recognized expertise;
- Regularly support and audit users, internally or from external companies, to ensure that the defined framework is respected, and changes are made if necessary.
Golden Rule #3: Adhere to applicable regulations
The Internet of Things does not fall under a specific regulatory framework, as it affects a wide range of products, services, processes, technologies and practices. However, many privacy and security issues are covered in principle in the broader regulatory frameworks of the digital economy. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides a well-suited frame of reference for this new model, and you should engage your DPO from the start of the project to ensure it is fully compliant with applicable regulations. Regular dialogue with regulatory authorities should also be the norm.
Under these three conditions, your IoT project can take off and drive the growth of your organization sustainably. But before embarking on this exciting adventure, take the time to consult valuable feedback, particularly abroad, and learn how to be flexible: The Internet of Things is a complex environment, and in some cases, processes, equipment, and personnel must be adapted. Leaders should invest upstream, in particular to ensure that the safest components are used throughout the process. In short, know how to be proactive!
For more information, see China Telecom Europe and The Economist’s white paper