The likes of 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and in particular – the Internet of Things (IoT), are predicted to change the way we work and live as we move forward into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Businesses from various different industries have all been keeping tabs on the latest development of these innovations and will be looking to capitalise on their potential to further improve their operational efficiencies. However, according to Ericsson’s Exploring IoT strategies, a large portion of communications service providers (CSPs) simply don’t get it’ and in the light of this, several questions have been raised on whether CSPs are appropriately equipped to monetise all of the opportunities presented by the IoT, writes Jaisica Lapsiwala, the head of content at IBC.
The commercial use of IoT
IoT is expected to be of great use commercially which means that a lot of businesses across a variety of sectors will be looking to, If not already, have a business strategy in place for utilising IoT to unlock new revenue streams. Telecoms companies whether they know it or not, are actually in pole position for utilising IoT once it is standardised, as providing communications services is something that their business models are centred on and have long been doing. CSPs should look to forge partnerships with businesses looking to embrace this new form of connectivity and look at the different ways in which they can monetise their services. The telecoms industry is fast-moving, and amidst the increasing competition for business within the space, it’s only a matter of time before operators extend their offering and reach out to new customers to ensure relevance and long term sustainability.
Open for business: what are the benefits of IoT?
With this new IoT revolution, the possibilities for CSPs are endless, they will be able to utilise the many benefits that come with IoT, and monetise their services to new and existing customers and unlock new revenue generating business opportunities.
The media value chain is evolving
Content delivery will be one of the aspects in the media value chain that will be affected by the IoT revolution, as it will enable content providers to do much more than traditional content and entertainment delivery. CSPs should look to take advantage of this capability, as media companies will be evaluating the potential of IoT to enhance and reshape their content delivery strategies. CSPs can provide an IoT connectivity service that will enable content providers to package up and deliver content to millions of connected smart devices simultaneously across a wide range of digital channels.
Data and analytics management
Data is currently one of the most valuable tools for businesses and with the connection of millions of devices over an IoT network, there will be an abundance of data produced which CSPs can use to help perform real-time data analytics and determine product performance, improve customer experience and forecast network capacity. CSPs should look to monetise this and offer businesses unique insights that could potentially open doors to new revenue streams or even improve operational efficiencies.
Security and customer care
For nearly all businesses from a variety of sectors, network security is always at the top of the agenda, and with the introduction of IoT networks, they will need to be even more vigilant. The sheer volume of all the data transmitted by the connected devices within the network makes it difficult to track, identify and filter out any of the incoming suspicious traffic. CSPs have long been offering customers security services and are therefore in a strong position to deliver a secure offering to protect IoT networks. By providing services such as data encryption, anti-phishing and other adaptive security countermeasures, telcos can monetise their IoT offering and cement their reputation as trusted partners.
IoT networks are able to connect millions of devices over large distances, managing a plethora of connected devices within the network efficiently and effortlessly. Connected devices are prone to damage and malfunction, something that has troubled businesses for decades, and will need constant monitoring and fine-tuning. This gives CSPs the opportunity to establish partnerships with businesses, enabling them to join their IoT networks and monetise the management and monitoring of the lifecycles of connected devices within a company network. This includes restoration, fault-detection, troubleshooting and fixing of malfunctioning or out-dated devices. This way, CSPs can unlock a new revenue stream by managing a plethora of connected devices within a network, ensuring businesses have control over their device networks, making them more resilient and helping lower operational costs.
There are some strong and fruitful opportunities for CSPs in this IoT revolution and it’s time that they open up their services to support companies from all sectors who are looking to employ IoT connectivity as part of their business models in this IoT driven digital transformation.