Markku Pitkänen, CSO, Tosibox
The IoT market is growing rapidly with IoT spawning new opportunities not only to streamline operations but also to create new sources of income for countless industries. Last year, global management consultancy Bain & Company predicted that the sum of money globally invested in IoT will in 2021 reach as much as 520 billion dollars. In 2017, the sum was 235 billion.
IoT offers entirely new business models. Many network-connected devices are capable of learning new things when equipped to machine-learn by observing the environment; to collect data and react to its changes. Thereby the value chain of the devices will grow due to IoT connectivity. This much is known – but what prevents us from seizing this opportunity?
Thanks to automation, we are now also better equipped to analyze the real-time data generated by automation, which in turn provides us with more specific data more quickly than before to support our decision-making. Each value chain phase, each individual process will increase the value of the product, while IoT is likely to bring more steps into the value chain of several products. Raise your hand if you crave for inferior data in support of your decision-making!
The highest expectations currently fall on the industrial internet of things. According to various surveys, the majority of IT industry executives expect IIoT to bring increased efficiency and productivity. Another important point that came up was the creation of new business opportunities, not to mention the advantages of data analysis. Raise your hand if you yearn for decreased efficiency and poorer productivity!
IoT presents a massive opportunity, and its promises of improved productivity and efficiency as well as of huge improvement of product and service value chains are quite alluring. But the basis of digital business lies in tuning up the value chain. It is not enough that you provide excellent products and services. You also need excellent processes, capabilities, capacity, resources and ecosystem. Now, raise your hand if you think this is yesterday’s news. “The board has actually discussed this, and we have that Jack’s pilot process underway, too.”
IoT is not a project, and especially not an IT project! What is it, then?
However, more important than IoT gadgets is to determine why we wish to use IoT to do better business. Answers to the How and What will crystallize once this decision has been made.
Let’s look at a tangible example of challenges that the manufacturers face in terms of data. In September, Tosibox participated in Pack Expo, USA’s largest packing trade show, which was this year held in Las Vegas. What I most remember of the conversations I had there during the week is the notion of ”the hassle with all the data”. In many companies, the ideas of collecting data and the ownership of data are brand new, circling in the minds of hardware manufacturers, customers who use the devices, and systems integrators.
The only thing permanent is change and keeping abreast with change is a challenge for all businesses, not just end-customers. IoT offers new possibilities for improving productivity and value chains, but as we know, the adoption of any new technology innovation happens gradually. Hardware manufacturers, too, have different approaches to data collection. First, there are those whose so-called stand-alone devices are not network-connected at all (yet). Second, there are hardware manufacturers whose devices are already online, but the possibilities of technology are not exploited. The most innovative are the hardware manufacturers whose devices are online, and they generate data which is collected using sensors. What stage are you in? It is OK to be in the first stage as long as you acknowledge that something needs to be done.
Data is the currency for the Internet of Everything (IoE). Relevant data on device activity is worth more than gold, while all the players in the ecosystem – hardware manufacturers, end-customers and systems integrators – have interest in it, which of course poses a problem. Who, then, owns the data? Who has the right to collect or utilize the data and how?
End-customers want to own the data themselves and keep it at their own facilities and control the access of others to it. Systems integrators want to take the data into their own cloud, analyze it and use it to provide added value to their customers. Hardware manufacturers, too, want to collect data in their own clouds.
The escalated situation will make life more difficult for everyone: productivity declines, and without data people make ill-advised decisions and waste resources. Discussions with customers have brought up one significant problem: How to establish a secure connection between different devices and platforms? To put it more simply: How to transfer data from one place to another in a secure way?
What if I said that there is a nifty way to solve this problem?
Our vision is to change the world by simplifying secure digital connections. Why? Because we want to enhance our customers’ business and make them the heroes of the IoT playing field.
What do we do, then? We at Tosibox have developed a disruptive technology which allows us to help businesses to make the digital leap into the Internet of Things and to make the most of it, and most importantly, to further improve their business.
How can this be done simply? How do we help our customers to solve the problem of connectivity? We offer the foundation of an IoT environment – secure and easy-to-use connections between sites and users, and we guide our customer through the entire 15-second implementation journey. After that, you are the IoT hero. This flexible foundation will allow the seamless cooperation between different players, which will benefit all: hardware manufacturers, end-customers and third parties and service providers alike can reap the benefits of the solution – within the limits of access rights granted to them.
At this time of the year, businesses are preparing budgets for the upcoming year. Are you positioning your company as the innovator at the forefront of development, or will you be cautiously following in the rearguard? I enjoy putting myself and our organization out on the line, so let’s make this easy for you: If I promise to make things work in 30 minutes, would you be willing to spend 30 seconds to set a date for it? Any day will work for us.
“We offer the foundation of an IoT environment – secure and easy-to-use connections between sites and users, and we guide our customer through the entire 15-second implementation journey. After that, you are the IoT hero.”
Markku Pitkänen, CSO, Tosibox