In our previous blog post, A New IoT World - Part 1, we discussed the shifting priorities of businesses, consumers, and connectivity services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This sequel will look at emerging infrastructure and efforts to support society as the entire world works to stay productive, efficient, and innovative during a time when contact must remain limited. Streaming services are purposely lowering their bandwidth and quality, factories are abandoning their work to mass produce masks, the entertainment industry is shifting to become entirely digital, and surveillance tools are growing each day. As all industries tread waters that they have never tread before, they embrace a digital and connected world, and all the innovations that come with it. As a result, daily, social, and cultural norms will shift along with business models and investments, and we will experience an entirely new world.
Adopting Remote Work
We will see new adoptions of rollover and remote operations models for all aspects of organizations as remote work becomes the norm for businesses across all industries. Companies will recognize that allowing employees to work from home is plausible for long-term working conditions long after this period of social distancing passes. As they speed through the trial phases of disconnect and learn to thrive in a virtually connected environment, many employees will find that remote work better suits their lifestyle and optimizes their productivity. Managements will be able to assess the ability for employees to remain at home, therefore reducing office costs and increasing productivity. With the elimination of daily face-to-face contact and meetings, employers will need to invest in ensuring that their employees have access to high-bandwidth internet, secure and reliable connectivity, and tools for tracking tasks and assets.
Embracing the Digital World
While the internet of things has already created a more cohesive and connected world, the worldwide demand for innovation due to the ongoing pandemic will lead to a surge in new technology across all industries. In China, many large telecommunication companies have released 5GDN industry white papers that focus on the digitalization of respective industries. These papers highlight the potential capabilities that will emerge with cellular IoT across a variety of sectors including factories, tourism and fast food.
It is also expected that businesses will soon start adapting SD-WAN solutions by removing expensive routing hardware and provisioning connectivity and services from the cloud. This will enable them to offer increased flexibility and scalability as per market demand. The need for secure, reliable and capable connectivity is at an all time high, and this will create a surge in solutions and infrastructure that allows our society to become more cohesive and reliable than ever.
A wide variety of industries now need to innovate and adopt IoT and AI, including food chains, entertainment and culture, government surveillance, and much more. Food chains have begun to invest more money into kitchen and service automation to reduce human contact. This will increase their technology managed operations far beyond the current pandemic as they prepare modern business models for future crises. Governments will require more connectivity for monitoring citizens and gathering data. This will be accompanied by large investments in AI and facial recognition technology as adaptations are made to current legislation about privacy and security. Museums and tourist destinations across the globe have started offering virtual tours to sustain their business in this difficult time, and cellular IoT capabilities have already begun to assist the transition to the digital world.
In 2010, prominent players in the connectivity space predicted that the Internet of Things would comprise 50 billion devices in 2020. However, the years hence have seen successive downward revisions of these numbers. With our current global conditions encouraging businesses to begin considering implementing IoT and automation in order to digitize their operations as much as possible, cellular IoT will experience a surge in market demand, bringing the IoT predictions back into scope.
What was once expected to be a slow integration of IoT and connectivity has now been sped up with the urgency of our current global conditions. We are currently conducting research to further understand this impact by considering more business use cases and opinions from other thought leaders. For a more in-depth analysis of the COVID-19 impact on specific industries and how IoT can help, visit our other blogs here.
Our upcoming webinar on May 14th will provide a current analysis of the most up to date research data regarding the current and future role of cellular IoT as a result of COVID-19. Register here to hear from myself and experts from Kaleido Intelligence, KORE, Arqia (Datora) and SAP, as well as to access our exclusive white paper and infographics.