For the Australian economy and society the rapid emergence of IoT represents both a significant opportunity and a very real threat, depending on whether and how the nation adapts to and harnesses one of the biggest global disruptors of our generation.
IDC’s Worldwide Internet of Things Market Forecast Update, 2015-2019 2 predicts that the worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) market spend will grow from US$591.7 billion in 2014 to US$1.3 trillion in 2019.
There’s no question that the Internet of Things is revolutionising the world we live in. From the way we drive to transforming the way we make purchases there certainly are significant benefits to be realised from this transformation.
But the bulk of the benefits generated by IoT will go to manufacturers, agriculture, enterprise, Telco and other sectors. Smart farming as a result of wirelessly connected sensors can automatically distribute water and fertilizer across a farm; software that automates inventory-control and logistics streamline manufacturing processes. The end result? Automation that dramatically increases efficiency and slashes production costs.
According to IOT Alliance Australia, “we see it as imperative for Australia to leverage IoT technology as a key lever to innovate and increase competitiveness on the world stage. These initiatives are designed to improve the competitive advantage for countries. By ensuring their infrastructures are smarter, efficiencies and productivity can be translated into both lower cost of operations as well as job creation and export competitiveness”.
The digitisation of machines, inventory and other elements in the world of production is a powerful reality. But capturing the full potential of IoT will require businesses to rethink their business models. They will need to innovate, not only in technologies and security but right down to the resourcing talent they attract if they are truly to embrace data-driven decision-making.