Greater connectivity in terms of speed and devices means it may be time for your business to consider the Internet of Things and all the value it brings. What do you need to know, and why is full fibre broadband the foundation to it all? This is your business' guide to IoT.
We're entering a period where ubiquitous connectivity is the norm rather than the exception for a growing number of businesses. As Gartner predicts 20.4 billion connected devices by 2020, we’re witnessing the formation of a huge ecosystem of linked devices. This has many potential upsides for businesses as according to research by General Electric, the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to add between £7.6 to £11.4 trillion to worldwide GDP growth by 2030.
Is slow broadband holding your business back from the IoT?
Connecting this complex web of devices together does not come without issues. For example, although individual connected devices only send very small amounts of data individually, the more connected devices on a network, the more traffic, which could result in a connectivity bottleneck.
Networks will also have to handle IoT alongside other necessary applications, such as 4k HD video conferencing and cloud-based storage. So, for the numerous benefits of implementing IoT systems to be fully realised, organisations must first have the appropriate broadband infrastructure in place to support this exponential growth.
According to recent research from analyst house IDC, the worldwide IoT market is predicted to grow to £5.4 trillion by 2020 from £1.44 trillion in 2013.
To not get left behind in the wake of the IoT revolution, businesses must invest in the correct broadband infrastructure ahead of the time if they are to thrive in a newly connected world.
Meeting the full fibre challenge
Earlier this month, the UK was reported to have lower broadband speeds than Madagascar, which could impact the emerging potential of IoT and falls short of industry expectations.
A recent report by the National Infrastructure Commission has highlighted telecoms as a potential problem area in the future if sufficient investment is not provided, alongside energy, transportation, and reducing environmental impact.
Weighing in - which connection does your business need for the Iot?
1) Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband
FTTC is currently the dominant form of broadband connectivity in the UK. This works by using copper lines to connect to a local street cabinet. Though this meets the needs of most businesses, it’s unlikely to provide a future proof solution for businesses who want to take full advantage of the possibilities offered by IoT.
2)Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband
FTTP, on the other hand, uses fibre optic over the entire length of connection, and as a result can offer speeds of over 1 gigabit per second (Gbit/s). This allows businesses to take full advantage of the fruits of IoT technology.
But fear not, help is on hand for businesses who want to be able to make the switch but might not the necessary resources available to do. The UK government has promised to provide over 95 per cent of the UK with superfast broadband by 2020.
As part of this drive, the government’s newly instigated Gigabit Voucher Scheme allows businesses to make the switch to full-fibre without emptying their bank balances in the process, helping them to take advantage of digital transformation technologies.
Exploring the benefits IoT
The opportunities that IoT can bring to your business aren’t confined to decades in the future, and they go far beyond gimmicks such as smart fridges and showers.
IoT deployment can bring distinct bottom line benefits in the here and now, reducing operational costs as well opening the door for untold new efficiencies. Whether this means cutting down on office energy costs, tracking down the mileage of your field agents, or monitoring how your products are being used to provide valuable business insights.
By allowing for businesses to have visibility over the entirety of their supply chains, we could see a massive upshift in productivity comparable to the industrial revolution.