Two of the largest barriers to the uptake of the Internet of Things (IoT) are the capital costs required and the retraining time required for staff. Once people are over these barriers and see the value that IoT can bring, the pursuit of IoT is usually self-sustaining. These two barriers, however, are enough to keep many out and overcoming them is the main challenge for organisations looking to make the transition.
That was until COVID.
Over the course of weeks, disruptions spread from sector to sector, becoming ever more magnified and unprecedented. What once would have seemed like a significant change, became nothing more than a footnote, as companies sought out new ways of operating as they always had
In the face of all these changes, IoT solutions became far more attractive. By comparison to other options, they were well proven and available in the moment. Solutions that had been built to boost distributed workforce’s transparency became critical for them to complete work and systems geared towards workplace efficiency, became enablers of remote working. In this way, COVID quickly removed both IoT adoption barriers.
Once over the barrier, companies were also more keen than usual to look for additional solutions and infrastructure to mitigate against future (and possibly dramatic) changes.
COVID has certainly made it an interesting time to be in the IoT space.
Whilst the rationale of IoT hasn’t changed, the managerial response to its use certainly has. Where it was once viewed as disruptive, it is now viewed as an enabler of ‘back to normal’ operations. What’s interesting is that managers haven’t changed their opinion on IoT, but that the greater framework has changed so much that IoT offerings mitigate against even greater changes. What used to be the barrier for their use is now the reason they are being taken up.
People are often happy to accept that the technology will work, but doubt that deploying such technology will add significant value as it’s a far more complex question to answer. In this new landscape, the value of deployment is obvious and so people are onboarding at a vastly increased rate.
This COVID IoT effect has led to me having many more interesting conversations about IoT applications and potential collaborations which I find fascinating. From a technical perspective, the applications are often straightforward but create significant amounts of resilience and efficiency showing how the fourth industrial revolution is still very much underway. Having the tables turn and people now being interested in IoT solutions and FreeUP on hand to create them have made these COVID IoT conversations some of the most interesting I have ever had.
The effects of COVID have set new standards by which many future events will be measured. There will be many negatives and retrospective hindsights, but I also hope that out of this disruption people take the opportunity to make organisations fundamentally more robust and effective. It’s a downtime opportunity that few would have dreamt of at the beginning of the year and that everyone should seize now we have it.
If you don’t know where to start, get in contact and I’ll do my best to point you in a helpful direction. Improving things requires a problem and solution and I’m always interested in unsolved problems.