I was forwarded a great article the other day.  It talks a lot about some trends in the technology industry, and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy that we are involved in some of the areas that we are.

Here are some thoughts:

PCs are so yesterday

With a projected drop of 6% in revenue (from a 2013 total that was already bad), PCs look to be on their way out.  Some of this can be attributed to smartphones and tablets, but I think a big chunk of it is the overall philosophy of “mobile”.  People want their information whenever and wherever they want it, and PCs do not lend themselves well to this trend.  It looks like they are going to be another victim of the Mobile/Internet revolution, following the path of video stores and DVD sales.

From an M2M standpoint, this helps to clear one major hurdle, in that it helps to build trust in the reliability of cellular networks to carry valuable and timely information.  Many key items (traffic lights, pipelines, hydro meters) have embraced cellular technology, finding it as reliable as traditional landline circuits.

Emerging markets sure love technology

A big part of the gap between expected sales growth in emerging markets vs. developed ones can be attributed to two things: demographics and the emerging middle class.  Younger people tend to spend a higher proportion of their disposable income on technology, and since many of the emerging countries are younger, this makes sense.  As well, people tend to follow similar patterns when their standard of living increases.  Once they are able to better meet their basic needs (i.e. better food, transportation and clothing), technology is one of the major benefactors.  Smartphones are now about as “standard issue” for youths in emerging countries as they are in developed ones, the difference being that many youths in the emerging markets are buying them for the first time (hence the growth).

Ok, now to spin this a bit more over to M2M…

There is a war brewing in the cloud

For most people, the cloud has been a place to store “stuff”.  Similar to a storage bin, it is a place to store pictures and videos and it offers an easy way to share them with your loved ones.  M2M is going to push even more things to the cloud….consumers will be able to find out the status of key things in their life (from their car, to their home to their boat) and businesses will be able to better know what is going on with their business (to lower costs and to improve productivity).

The sheer amount of data that M2M can create is mind-boggling, so expect to see much of the effort from companies like Amazon and Google (among others) to focus on why you should store not only the pictures from your party on their but also M2M-based information.

Big Data gets bigger and a bit more crowded

What I wanted to point out here is how non-traditional IT companies are making a big play into the world of Big Data.  It used to be that only IT companies ever talked to the “nerds” in IT.  So, if you were IBM or Cisco, you were welcome…..if you sold equipment that monitored stuff in the field, your calls weren’t always returned. 

Not so with Big Data….companies like GE and Honeywell are stepping in to not only sell you the hardware that you use in the field but also to manage the data that comes from it.  As such, companies now have choices, and this is both exciting and confusing for customers.  Do you have your data crunched, stored and analyzed by the company who sold you the devices (so they are experts in the data that is created) or do you choose the company who is the expert in your IT systems?  Or, do you do both?

IoT is born….I mean, for real this time

Ok, stop me if you have heard this before, but 2014 is really the “hockey stick curve growth year” for M2M.  As I have been in this space since the late 90’s, it has always been that next year was the year.  So, I am always skeptical of any growth projections.

However, for the first time in a long time, things are starting to line up for IoT to take off.  New devices are emerging that allow for a low enough cost to make it more appealing….applications are starting to appear to better use this data and the proliferation of mobile devices mean that consumers/businesses have constant real time access, so they will now appreciate what M2M can do much more.

Now, this obviously brings some concerns to the marketplace, but I have always believed in one thing….Rich guys will get involved to eliminate problems when there is money involved, and I don’t see how this will be any different.  Most obstacles to the Internet’s growth rate a couple of decades ago got minimized or eliminated when there was enough money thrown at it, why would this be any different.

Bottom Line

The growth of Mobile (and IoT) will not be without its issues…..Networks will be overcrowded, there will be interoperability issues and there is a serious lack of expertise in this space to deliver anywhere close to the amount of solutions that are needed to hit these lofty projections.  However, these are solvable issues, and if we truly see $9T in revenue in 7 years (or anywhere close to it) in IoT, we will have enough resources to easily handle this.

As always, Novotech is ready to assist with your M2M needs. Whether you’re looking to control, track, monitor or back-up, Novotech has the solutions and products you need. View our Line Cards and let us know how we can be of assistance.

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