With as-a-service models, customers can get the resources they need to run a process without having to invest in totally new infrastructure. For IoT, this entails establishing an organized, logical environment that allows devices to connect while maintaining security.
Thanks to IoT-as-a-service, the industry can take advantage of the full potential of connected devices and edge computing with reduced compatibility difficulties. It provides a practical avenue for a technology that is generating a lot of hype, and it lowers the barriers to adoption for those who aren’t in the tech industry.
In 2022, IoT-as-a-service will be a must-follow trend.
Looking at the “as-a-service” model
Let’s take a step back and look at the as-a-service business in general before we get into door sensors or Roombas-as-a-Service. The market for as-a-service products and services isn’t new. There are also numerous economic and efficiency advantages for many who adopt as-a-service models.
When a product is marketed as a service, clients can only use the resources needed at the moment. Hence, service models are ideal for instances with changeable demand, such as when client demand spikes unexpectedly. With as-a-service models, customers can also set up and pull down resources quickly and pay as they go instead of incurring large upfront capital expenditures.
The as-a-service concept has fueled growth. According to a recent IDC analysis, the global cloud (SaaS) services market climbed 27.4% year over year in 2018, reaching approximately $183 billion in revenue, a growth rate over 4.5 times that of the overall IT industry.
According to Frank Della Rosa, research director, Software as a Service at IDC, “Software as a Service (SaaS) continued to be the most highly deployed cloud segment, representing a commanding 62.4% of the total cloud market revenues.” said Frank Della Rosa.
But what if we used actual Internet of Things (IoT) devices instead of apps, virtual services, and cloud solutions? Is there a role for IoT-as-a-Service in our market as edge computing, 5G, and connected systems keep growing?
The market is prepared to assist you in the management of your connected devices.
Yes, there will undoubtedly be a market to assist you in controlling, managing, and delivering connected devices as a service. However, it will be determined by your objective. IoT-as-a-service is already in use and being adopted by a variety of businesses.
IoT-as-a-Service Use Cases
Below are some real-world examples of this technology:
With the increasing frequency of natural disasters, such as floods and wildfires, more companies are looking towards microgrids as an alternative source of power to standard generators.
A microgrid is a self-contained energy system that provides power to a specific geographic area, such as a school campus, hospital complex, or community. Microgrid technology can also manage the grid entirely for you. A sustainable, clean, utility-grade backup power solution for industrial and commercial sites experiencing extended outages is being offered by one microgrid business as a solution for California’s resiliency concerns.
The company connects and manages the microgrid, identifying problems, recommending maintenance, and tracking the unit’s performance. Problems and power spikes are predicted using integrated machine learning and data analytics. It’s crucial to be up and running in terms of power solutions like these. As it uses data inputs and insights to keep power grids functioning, this IoT-as-a-service solution shifts from reactive to proactive.
Cooling and airflow systems
These systems can be found in an industrial facility, a hospital, or anywhere else where adequate airflow and cooling are required. An Israeli company created a connected air conditioning unit that reports abnormalities to the company, alerting it that the machine needs to be repaired. Major American appliance manufacturers are also involved.
This is a significant use case of IoT-as-a-Service. Smart metering at home allows a utility company to deliver more precise values and even determine when a neighborhood should be serviced. Smart gas meters on the market now assist natural gas suppliers in overcoming issues such as erratic data transmission, high power consumption, and even poor metering success rates.
Connected meters, on the other hand, require architecture to support them, such as Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology, which provides security, extensive coverage, enormous connection, and low power consumption at a low cost.
Knowledge is provided through other IoT-as-a-Service products. IoT Central, for example, is a service offered by a leading cloud provider. This platform enables businesses to quickly develop Internet of Things (IoT) applications without requiring in-house expertise. Some of the early adopters include Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, and ThyssenKrupp Elevator.
These IoT-as-a-service solutions seek to make the management and deployment of connected devices quick and easy. You’ll get access to central device management, which includes advanced rules and analytics to assist you in repairing, updating, and reconfiguring devices. The IoT-as-a-Service solution will then assist you in scaling and even monetizing your linked ecosystem.
Why Should Companies Use It?
IoT has evolved quickly, which is fantastic for innovation but difficult to integrate. IoT-as-a-Service has a number of advantages:
Allows for easier integration:
For organizations with no resident tech genius on board, the capability to download devices to a central system that configures and coordinates without knowing about infrastructure saves a lot of time.
Businesses are no longer skeptical about upgrading systems or adding other types of sensors as needed to solve compatibility issues. The infrastructure is responsible for management.
Scale is provided:
The most important thing to consider when employing any new technology is whether it will scale. Businesses can use precisely what they need with IoT-as-a-service, with the capacity to grow in the future.
Cuts overhead expenses:
Adoption costs are a barrier for small and medium firms without financing, as well as large corporations with a wide range of devices. The infrastructure and back-end are already in place with IoT-as-a-service. It’s just a matter of plugging it in.
Challenges of IoT-as-a-Service
As appealing as it may appear to hand over control of your connected things, there are some drawbacks.
To begin, you must comprehend how data from these devices will be routed through the cloud, the managed services partner, and customers. If you work in a regulated industry, you’ll want to know how your partner will handle the transient data generated by these devices. If this company keeps or processes private data or personal health information, it will be a non-starter unless it is explicitly allowed to do so.
This also emphasizes the importance of implementing effective data security procedures. Verify your partner’s capacity to handle future growth, data integrity, and business plan. Know how data is segregated, how networks are designed, and where data will be managed or kept if this is a project. Keep in mind that IoT devices are unquestionably targets for cybercriminals.
Latency and performance are two other issues to contend with. You may experience efficiency and latency problems if your IoT-as-a-service provider analyzes data from devices but lacks a solid edge platform or IoT-enabled architecture. Recall that some IoT devices demand sub-millisecond response times. Make sure your partner is capable of meeting your needs.
How to Invest in IoT-as-a-Service?
If this is something your organization wishes to look into, it will be determined by your connected devices and business strategy. Below are some guidelines:
- Think about how your physical devices will interact with people, and also consider the software layer and data management.
- When implementing an as-a-service approach, keep your business goals in mind.
- As you employ the as-a-service model, select metrics to assess whether you are accomplishing your business objectives and monitor against these key performance indicators.
- To secure data security and regulatory compliance, address the security requirements of your data.
- Choose a whole platform (such as IoT Central) to manage your IoT devices, or use certain connected devices for your specific needs, such as connected microgrids or cooling systems.
Data, value, and privacy with the Internet of Things
To this day, the physical and digital worlds have coexisted in the same space, such as a rideshare booking service or a driver-managed app on a car dashboard. Online shopping, streaming services, social media, and other digital activities are all accessed through a screen, with little contact with the real world. This is now evolving, as IoT builds more integrated connectivity, a true union of digital and physical, as the research also outlines.
All of the transactional data on how the product is used on a regular basis, paired with AI techniques, might be beneficial for product analytics and enhancements. Companies suddenly encounter a torrent of data as they connect their devices. The IT sector is currently preoccupied with efficiently managing this.
Extra value is created, in our opinion, when companies are able to share and combine data with their partners, clients, and other stakeholders in order to promote innovation. Drive Sweden, where several organizations come together to see how the future of transportation could look, has demonstrated the possibilities of this.
To do so, we need to figure out what kind of data we can all share. In the quest of innovation, this data sharing must be managed with data confidentiality of the company’s sensitive data as well as vital consumer privacy and permission. As the Osborne Clarke report points out, it needs to be discussed early among all parties. As more data assets are combined, security and privacy are becoming further industry hot topics on most CEO agendas.
A Competitive Advantage in the Marketplace
Companies may embrace the technology with less risk and without the time-consuming trial and error process that is often involved. Companies can often convert from a CapEx to an OpEx model, just as they can with other “as-a-Service” models. Instead of spending large sums of money on hardware and software upfront, solutions are used and paid for as subscription services. This frequently provides access to IoT technology that some businesses may have been hesitant to invest in because of large upfront expenses.
Further, an as-a-Service approach allows businesses to gain access to new technologies more quickly. The application of complex data analysis or modelings, such as predictive analytics or ML algorithms, can, for example, improve the utility of an IoT system. Many businesses lack the skills required to analyze, select, deploy, and use the most effective procedures. An IoT-as-a-Service offering might provide the knowledge, tools, and best practices needed to effectively apply modern analytics to IoT data.
Ready for IoT-as-a-Service?
The IoT-as-a-Service industry isn’t as nascent as some people think. Real-world projects exist in which service providers manage physical hardware (along with the data they produce). In addition, firms that can clearly outline their managed IoT approaches will reap the greatest monetization and competitive advantage.
Our world will become more interconnected and dynamic in the near future. We’re rapidly infusing digital life to once-analog technologies, which will necessitate a new approach to managing and controlling the data that passes through them.