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Companies are looking to IoT innovation in a post-COVID-19 world

By Max Burkhalter
October 22, 2020

Times of great uncertainty can also be times of great innovation. As the COVID-19 pandemic forces individuals and businesses to rethink almost every part of how they conduct themselves, from shopping for groceries to attending work meetings, many are looking to Internet of Things (IoT) devices to be a defining part of "the new normal."

Increased demand
Across several industries, businesses are beginning to find that their IoT device networks are indispensable to the work that they do. The pandemic has only increased the rapid pace of implementation, in particular, as a way to make remote work more accessible. According to a piece from IoT For All, health care professionals have turned to IoT as it looks to take on the challenge of COVID-19. The sector is using IoT to, amongst other things, monitor for early symptoms of COVID and merge data from hospital systems around the world. IoT is helping the sector move forward and achieve new levels of efficiency. 

Health care is not unique in that regard. According to Computer Weekly, 87% of respondents in a recent survey of 1,639 businesses around the world noted that their newly adopted IoT devices had positively affected business, with 95% saying they had already achieved a return on investment. This increased vitality comes as the IoT industry works to handle changes and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the pandemic may be a reason for the increased demand. A total of 73% of respondents said that the pandemic had caused them to accelerate their IoT adoption strategy.

The survey, called 2020 IoT Spotlight, was conducted by the tech company Vodafone. It featured companies in a variety of industries from the United States, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the U.K.  

Initial challenges
While the increased dependence and demand for IoT innovation is a positive for the tech industry, companies must still rise to meet the moment. At the beginning of the pandemic, many deployments of IoT devices were delayed, as professionals were unable to work on site on installation. As a result, some companies were unable to initially adopt IoT technology on the scale that they hoped.

While delays persist, the industry has found ways to do more adoption remotely. For example, companies are using Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) to do more of the process before physical implementation, according to IoT For All. RSP uses embedded modules to allow for easy connection to cellular networks, and the other devices in a IoT network, helping implementation professionals to avoid traveling from one site to another, implementing each device in a network. This method, however, like every new innovation that has been forced into rapid use by the pandemic, has come with a "learning curve," according to the article.

Looking forward
As businesses begin to adjust to a world where COVID-19 is here to stay, at least for the time being, the IoT industry continues to make adjustments. According to IoT For All, companies are using embedded SIMs like the RSP to allow their clients to scale as needed and make adjustments. IoT companies are also using this time to move more their deployments to a 5G network. The industry believes that the 5G is more effective at handling software-defined components like IoT than previous cellular networks. In fact, according to research from Juniper, about 5% of all 5G connections may be from IoT devices by 2025, or possibly around $8 billion in business.   

Ultimately, IoT is an industry uniquely set to thrive in the increasingly digital world of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses across a variety of industries are looking to adopt new IoT technology as a way to meet their own challenges and continue to succeed. Despite this, IoT companies still face challenges implementing new networks. 

As you look to move your business forward with new technology, Perle Systems is here to help. To learn more about what Perle can do for you, read some of our customers' success stories.


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