Time to Explore the IoT World

Nicola Mortimer
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On: 23 Nov 2016
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Nicola Mortimer Three IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next phase of connectivity, enabling – like all good technologies – greater efficiency, reduced costs and the potential for new revenue streams. There are as many ways to take advantage of IoT as there are industries and businesses.

This week saw IoT World – Europe’s most comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) event – come to Dublin’s Convention Centre. What could be a more powerful indication of the importance of IoT to businesses in Ireland? IoT has the potential to be one of the most disruptive technological developments in decades. Whether that disruption is beneficial or not for your particular business depends on whether or not it’s your business that’s doing the disrupting.

Are you ready to make the most of the opportunities?

What is IoT?

The internet connects us to each other. As the name suggests, IoT connects things to other things. Essentially, it enables objects to be connected to each other, which have previously been unconnected. It can connect central heating systems to smartphones, or cars to networks, or a cow to an app (more on that later).

The concept is not entirely new. An early iteration of IoT is what made ATMs possible, and the first one of those went live in 1974. However, the development of the technology to operate via sensors rather than SIMs, and the capability to embed those sensors into almost anything, means the Internet of Things can now encompass and connect more “things” than ever before. It’s predicted that by 2020 there will be more than 26 billion connected devices worldwide, and a quarter billion of those will be vehicles.

Those figures give some idea of how much IoT has the potential to change things for all of us – and for your business.

IoT and your business

Thanks to the ever-expanding connectivity capabilities of IoT, it can mean whatever you want it to mean for your business. It can be a new revenue generator; it can be an efficiency enhancer; it can be a cost reducer. The possibilities are almost limitless and are restricted more by ideas and imagination than by the technology itself.

For example, IoT could generate revenue for you in the long-term by providing you with more information about your customers. By analysing this data, you will be able to target more accurately with more effective promotions.

As an efficiency enhancer, IoT can operate in the most unlikely places. For example, Moocall utilises a sensor placed on the tails of pregnant cows. When cows are about to give birth they tend to swish their tail more, which then triggers the sensor to send a text message alert to the farmer. Instead of checking the cows at frequent intervals, the farmer can get on with other jobs (or go to bed) knowing that he won’t miss the birth and can be there in good time to deal with any complications. The result is a more efficient farm, a reduction in calf and cow mortality, and a less-exhausted farmer. Launched in Ireland, Moocall is now expanding into the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

As a means of reducing costs, IoT has proved its effectiveness with Europcar Ireland. A telematics system, powered by Three SIMs, monitors the company’s entire rental fleet of over 6,000 vehicles. By reporting on driving conditions, it helps to improve driver behaviour and safety and prevent fraudulent accident claims; resulting in a significant reduction in insurance costs. At the same time, by incorporating a GPS program, the system reports on car locations and gives the business real-time information on the location and availability of its cars for hire – helping to streamline operational processes and further reduce costs.

An IoT world

IoT not only connects what has traditionally been unconnected, but also opens up opportunities and possibilities that have not previously been considered. At one end of the spectrum there are opportunities for manufacturers to incorporate sensors into their products to enable new kinds of connectivity. Further along the spectrum there are opportunities for end-users to utilise those sensors and that connectivity to enhance their business. At the far end of the spectrum there are the as-yet not thought-of applications, just waiting for an innovative start-up business to turn it in to a reality.

Just as there is more to IoT than connectivity, so too is there more to Three’s role than the provision of SIMs. Three is a business enabler. We help businesses to capitalise on the possibilities of the new connected world. Whether or not you made it to IoT World in Dublin, you can discover some of the ways connectivity and technology are driving business development by downloading our free Guide to Technology for SMEs.

Get future-ready now.

Call our Business Advice Team on 1800 200 017.