Sanjay Jain from WNS Global Services tells TechWeekEurope how dealing with the data created by the Internet of Things can help your business stay ahead
The Internet of Things – objects and appliances with embedded sensors and chips capable of communicating online – will result in 50 billion devices being connected to the internet by 2020, according to Gartner. In 2014, the Gartner Hype Cycle also revealed that Internet of Things had overtaken big data as the most hyped technology. There can be no escaping the fact that it is quickly becoming a vibrant part of the business and IT landscape, something that holds much promise in years to come and which businesses should be using to their advantage.
Today we can see powerful examples of the Internet of Things coming to life and are beginning to see the possibilities a connected world might bring. From fridges and bathroom scales, to fitness bands and home thermostats, the amount of ‘things’ connected to the internet is really taking off.
One example is the connected car; this is something we have seen grasping the attention of the media in recent months as the automotive industry takes leaps into the connected realm. This is only set to grow, with Gartner predicting that one in five vehicles on the road worldwide will have some form of wireless network connection by 2020, which amounts to more than 250 million connected vehicles. The connected kitchen is also set to contribute savings of at least 15 percent in the food and beverage industry by 2020. These examples are just a few that go to show, how the Internet of Things is changing the world around us.
This is a huge opportunity for businesses as they have the scope to utilise these new connected channels, but also one of the biggest hurdles they will face, as they will need to prepare for the influx of connected devices making their way into the workplace and not get overwhelmed with the massive amounts of information that will be available.
Knowing what to do with all of this new data is key, and being able to make sense of such data in an accurate and timely manner will quickly then become a point of differentiation for many. Being data-driven will give businesses the extra boost to stand out amongst competition by giving them the tools to operate more efficiently and effectively as they will be able to gather extensive information to tailor parts of the business in-line with findings. As the Internet of Things continues to surge, one thing is inevitable; businesses will soon be forced to grapple with a growing mass of data, something that will require a rethink into how it is all managed.
Analytics technology has significantly evolved in the last few years and is now a key resource for making strategic and well-informed decisions. A good analytics framework, like the WNS Analytics Decision Engine (WADETM), will inspire and enable organisations in becoming fact-based in the way they think and act to achieve their long-term growth targets. By implementing a sophisticated data management and analytics solution, organisations will be able to make sense of all of the new data becoming available.
The agricultural sector is one that has been quick at implementing analytical technologies. It has paid off as a lot of organisations are using insights from their analysed data to monitor crops in real time to improve the yield, quality of produce and to conserve the resources needed for farming. Utility companies have also embraced this new era, implementing smart meters to monitor energy, gas, and water consumption, and municipalities are launching “smart city” projects to help ease traffic congestion, improve waste management and control street lights.
As we can see, some organisations are already beginning to understand how the new streams of data available will benefit them and give them a better view of employees. In fact, data from KPMG’s Executive report: The State of Services & Outsourcing in 2014, we can see that 82 percent of BPM buyers see analytics as important or critical to their engagements today. This is great to see, but it is something the rest of organisations, no matter how big or small, need to follow. If more organisations come on board and begin using their data properly, then they will start seeing benefits quickly.
There is also the popular option of outsourcing analytics. Using a specialist organisation to sift through data and maximise the streams of information available, can be efficient and can ensure that businesses are making the most of the data available to them. Another reason why it is a smart choice to outsource analytics is that it can save businesses hiring data scientists to have on-site.
It is clear that a number of buyers already consider the use of analytics as crucial, a trend that will only grow in importance as the Internet of Things does, and this is something that we need more businesses to understand and to invest in if they want to be one step ahead of their competition. If the correct measures are put in place to understand and make the most of the data that the Internet of Things is bringing, no data should therefore go to waste, and the opportunities for businesses are endless.
Sanjay Jain is chief strategy officer at WNS Global Services.
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