Having already spent more than $20 billion on Internet of Things (IoT) related software and hardware last year, India is poised for a significant IoT boom in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is according to new Deloitte research.
IoT is an entire tech paradigm that involves connecting everything – from everyday items such as hairbrushes to industrial grade manufacturing equipment – to an Internet network via chips and sensors. These devices can not only be controlled remotely as a result, but can also generate a world of data.
As it develops, IoT has become an integral part of ‘Industry 4.0’ technologies – harbingers of a digital revolution that also include artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, data analytics and automation, among others. According to a Deloitte survey from january of more than 2,000 C-suite executives around the world, well over 70% of all businesses position IoT as the Industry 4.0 technology with the biggest potential impact.
By 2023, spending on IoT related tech is expected to reach more than $1 trillion worldwide. The figure was at just under $730 billion last year, $20 billion of which was spent in India. According to Deloitte, a number of factors are set to drive an IoT boom in India over the next few years.
“While a wide range of sectors are going through slump, analysts, investors, IoT technology providers, and enterprises believe we are on the cusp of an explosion in the wider adoption of IoT,” said. Partner at Deloitte India Ashvin Vellody.
“With the proliferation of connected devices and evolving artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, the applicability of IoT is set to expand for businesses, consumers, and citizens. The agriculture industry is already experimenting with more efficient irrigation and soil monitoring. The healthcare and wellness industry is developing innovative applications with wearables for remote monitoring, disease prediction, and diagnosis.”
According to Vellody, large parts of India’s vibrant startup environment are set to focus on IoT as of now, particularly in light of Covid-19 and its implications on life and business. In a direct sense, the healthcare sector could use all the help it can get at the moment. In addition, several other struggling industries are turning to technology as a means to efficiency and optimisation.
Meanwhile, experts have urged the Indian manufacturing sector to invest in advanced capabilities, in a bid to fill the gaps left by a high risk China in global supply chain systems. With its range of applications across key industries – fast moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, cement & metals, chemicals, etc – IoT presents itself as a strong investment here, with a range of potential returns.
For one, it can save costs. Deloitte researchers point out how the vast amount of data collected via IoT sensors can be used to make informed decisions and eliminate inefficiencies – making a notable cut to operational costs. At the same time, this data can also be used towards revenue generation, by personalising products and services on a customer-to-customer basis.
Benefit number three from this data is ‘quality control.’ Sensors offer product data in historical context, allowing for constant improvements – in some cases in real time. Last on the list is the security and safety that IoT can provide, via remote monitoring and pattern assessment that can detect any potential risks.
All these capabilities combined could help any business survive in the ‘new normal,’ as India’s economic wheels start to turn again. And that’s not all. “As machines become more intelligent, this technology can have a positive impact on the everyday lives of citizens,” concluded Vellody.