M2M still a future thing
Over a fifth of companies have at least one M2M-based - or Internet of Things - solution in place, while over two-fifths of those who have yet to jump in expect to have an M2M initiative in place within two years, according to the global M2M Adoption Barometer report from Vodafone. And while most organisations adopting M2M are using it for projects with an internal focus – such as predictive maintenance of production equipment or optimising inventory - that’s changing. Within three years, 75% of organisations say they will have a strategy to implement M2M for external-facing projects, offering benefits like more consistent customer service, increased revenue and greater competitive advantage.
But this is still a diverse and evolving market – it’s very much not about a universally adopted single type of application. So, it could be usage-based insurance in Italy, stolen vehicle recovery in South Africa or smart cities initiatives in China, for example. However, certain countries, and regions, have particular quirks in terms of which verticals have seen the most substantial growth. For example, Asian and Middle Eastern countries have strong public sector backing for M2M apps such as smart cities and smart metering.
What should M2M adopters look out for? It’s Big Data. And what they do with data will become increasingly important, because a lot of the value of M2M sensing is wasted if Big Data findings remain siloed within a particular area of operations.
“Enterprises will need to invest in specialist skills, or bring in outside help to develop the necessary strategies and systems,” says the report. “And governance will be an important issue: the more data you store and make accessible around your organisation, the greater the privacy and security risks you have to plan for."