The IoT revolution is gathering pace across the globe, as more and more businesses turn to IoT technology to strengthen their business models
IoT technology has the power to fundamentally redefine the way people do business, not in the mid to long term future, but right now, according to Orange’s VP for digital innovation, Patrice Slupowski
Speaking to Total Telecom during London Tech Week, Slupowski said that it was crucially important that the industry "finds the right words to convince people that they can take advantage of IoT right now".
"The IoT market is starting to reach a little bit of maturity. The hype is over. You may not see hundreds of thousands of people in the corridors here today [at Lodon Tech Week] but every single one of those people who are here are here for a very good reason – either they are here because they have IoT projects or they are buying and selling things around IoT R&D," he said.
"They are not here by chance. This is a big difference when you compare it to something like a block chain summit – those topics are attracting a lot of people even though they have very little idea of how they might use blockchain in the very short term. For IoT it is different. It is more tangible."
While the IoT market is gaining traction, it is yet to launch on a truly massive scale, as Slupowski points out.
"I wouldn’t say that we are seeing an incredible gathering of momentum yet. We are seeing a lot of projects getting under way but very few of them are going on a massive scale. This is because people are still obsessed with a couple of questions that they need to be answered so that it can be opened up to that monumental scale."
Slupowski believes that many consumers are labouring under the misapprehension that they need to wait for 5G to launch before they are able to start integrating IoT solutions into their business strategy. This could not be further from the truth, particularly with regard to recent advances in LTE-M technology.
"5G is going to be something extremely exciting but we shouldn’t necessarily think that all our problems will be solved when 5G arrives. Certainly, some companies have an interest in making us think that this will be the case – but it isn’t. We will see little incremental gains with 5G that will help us make more and more things possible and to strengthen things that we are doing already – better networks with better bandwidth. But honestly, we can already do a lot with current technologies like LoRaWAN."
By raising awareness among consumers, Slupowski hopes to see a sharp uptake in the use of IoT technology in a range of everyday business applications, sooner rather than later.
"People don’t have to wait for 10 years. They don’t have to wait for 5G or for any ultimate technology to be released because things are already possible and they are becoming more and more affordable every day," he concluded.