96% Of Retail Decision-Makers To Adopt IoT In Near Future
Ashish Gulati, Country Head, Telit India, discusses the challenges and opportunities in the IoT space in India
IoT is a buzzword in today's marketplace. How will it drive business? Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate, sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. The burgeoning markets of energy management, smart grids, sensor networks and other intelligent systems, coupled with advances in IoT platforms and big data, have given birth to many innovations, start-up companies and big company acquisitions. The opportunities are so vast that for many companies, coming up with a clear strategy on how to implement this new technology is a huge step. Recent research conducted by Forrester in the retails industry found that 96 percent of retail decision-makers are hoping to make the necessary changes to adopt IoT solutions in the near future, but over half are concerned about integration challenges. What are the bottlenecks for IoT to be successful? Security and privacy concerns on IoT deployments must be addressed for it to succeed. If a proper balance is not struck between the benefits of IoT and individual privacy and security, its evolution could be seriously compromised. The ongoing deployment of IoT devices is already creating serious issues and discussions around security, and the potential threat of cyber criminals taking control of sensors and smart devices. What will be your focus areas in India? Telecom, Energy and Automotive Telematics are our key focus areas. 4G LTE is going to be a game changer in India. With operators in India rolling out 4G networks, LTE is going to play a leading role in the telecom segment. Here Telit is well positioned to cater to the needs of customers’ future-proof design platforms with its set of LTE modules that provide seamless connectivity to multiple frequency bands across different carriers. Along with the growth of Automotive Telematics in India, LTE is going to the next big thing that would drive this industry going forward. We will also continue a strong push for GNSS products. With the launch of Telit module Jupiter SE873, which tracks signals from both GPS and GLONASS satellites, Telit has set a new standard for applications in the navigation and tracking segments last year. The other segment that will remain our focus is smart energy. In combination with one of the modules from our cellular module portfolio, we are the only manufacturer able to offer an unparalleled complete solution with high customization capability. What are your investment plans for the Indian market? In India, Telit plans to continue expanding the value it brings to the various vertical segments with new products and services in the machine-to-machine communication space and the Internet of Things. The company is already collaborating with OEM/Design partners and collectively participating in implementation of government initiated M2M/IoT based projects. Apart from that, the company aims to increase penetration in the small-to-medium enterprise customer base securing growing number of new IoT applications. Some of our design partners are using our modules and developing new products in their respective fields. This collaboration with OEM/Design partners where we provide the modules for them to develop new products would continue and this would help many high tech SME companies to bring some innovative technology products to the market. Keeping up with our expansion plans in India, we have recently signed up with a new distribution partner “WE Components India Pvt Ltd” who have PAN India presence with their sales/marketing and technical support teams. This is another significant step towards our market penetration and commitment of unmatched support network across India. How does India compare with other markets in the IoT communications space? IoT/M2M Communication market has matured in Europe and the US. Use of M2M applications in these developed markets is widespread. Now, the Asia-Pacific region, too, is moving in the same direction. We see a greater adoption of new technologies as governments, companies and stakeholders understand the advantages offered by IoT/M2M technologies. In India, it is the beginning stage for IoT applications. We expect within the next 2-5 years when most of the government IoT projects see light of the day, one would witness the real potential of IoT applications.