5G is a whole new ball game, offering incredibly flexible deployment, and connecting not just people, but machines, objects and devices. For many, this has been the missing puzzle piece that will launch IoT, everywhere.
Sounds exciting, but are you ready to use this to see value? The chances are, the answer is no. Here are the three questions you need answers for before you can make a success of an IoT roadmap, and take your share of that incredible $1.2 trillion worth of profit.
Business Models: What Am I Going to Use IoT for?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that organizations like to go into investment opportunities with their eyes wide open. If someone came into a meeting with your executive team, and said “we have a fantastic opportunity, it’s going to change the world, open up new revenue streams in any and all verticals, and make you a whole lot of money”, you would probably have far more questions than you had before they sat down. If they couldn’t give you solid answers about which industries you would be implementing the technology in and where the value was coming from, they would probably be laughed out of the door.
However, that’s exactly the leap of faith that connectivity providers and mobile operators are taking with IoT. That $1.2 trillion we talked about earlier? It’s pretty evenly split between eight different industries, with Utilities and Energy taking the lead at 20% of the revenue potential.
This prediction is an intelligent one, with IoT deployments like smart metering or consumption management already working in the field. However, ideas as disparate as medical devices in healthcare, campus networks for the military, or Augmented Reality for entertainment and sports are all well on their way to being made a profitable reality. What direction should you go in? We say, why choose? Side-stepping this challenge means truly being ready for anything. A flexible BSS will get you there, providing a foundation for whatever the ‘Next Big Thing’ might be.
Technology: Do I Have the Infrastructure in Place to Make IoT Work?
If you’re still thinking that you’re going to make IoT work with your existing legacy systems, it’s time to let go of that pipe dream. IoT is a modern technology, and it needs a modern software-based technology stack. The best success stories will come from organizations that use everything 5G has to offer, from the lowest possible latency to keep device batteries lasting longer, to incredible performance at cloud-speed.
A cloud-based technology stack gives a few huge benefits over trying to fit shiny, round IoT into your seriously square legacy systems.
Experimentation: Give your developers the freedom to play and test using greenfield stacks, completely disconnected from the rest of the network.
Agility and control: With the network control decoupled from the forwarding plane, you can directly program the network control. Totally configurable and amazingly agile? That’s software-defined networking for you. You heard it here first.
Hardware-agnostic: Say goodbye to vendor lock-in for good, tying you into specific agreements and quality of service. Source your switching hardware and your OS separately, and go from there.
Once you have your business models and your technology aligned, the success of monetizing your 5G deployment will rely on how robust and resilient your Business Support Systems are. For example, let’s say you go after the Utilities route, providing connectivity to an Energy company that will sell devices to their own customers. You now need a management platform that can handle your relationship with the company, their relationship with their customers, and in many cases – another 3 or 4 hierarchies in-between for channel partners, resellers, manufacturers and more.
Look for a BSS that allows for smart unified invoicing, an intelligent billing and rating engine, easy onboarding, and intuitive partner enablement. If you can get this in one place alongside your connectivity, you’ll be truly ahead of the game.
Culture: Are my People on Board?
Lastly, you need to get your people in line, with the right expertise in the right places. Not to burst your bubble, but this is no easy task. IoT is a new technology, and it requires new skills and talent, even if you knew exactly what you would be rolling out and how over the next decade. Without a clear roadmap, you’re starting below zero.
This is where a strong connectivity and BSS provider can open doors, and quell fears for your existing teams. Hand over the reins to a smart provider, one that has experience beyond Telco alone, and you’ll be investing in more than just technology and consultation, but in the confidence of your entire pivot, proving that you’ve taken expert advice, and have the foundation of strong security and know-how.
Technology? We’ve got it covered. Business Models? We’re ready for anything. Culture? We’re here to help. Let’s schedule your first IoT consultation.