The Department of Industrial and Management Engineering, IIT Kanpur, witnessed a wonderful seminar on the Internet of Things by Mr. Arun Karna, MD, AT&T Global Network Services India Pvt. Ltd. He brought us closer to how limitless and pervasive the concept of IoT is and talked about the potential multi-trillion industry which has caught the eye of business enterprises that look forward to transform businesses without human-to-human or human-to-computer interactions.
Mr. Karna explained as to how the flow of information occurs from the sensors and control systems to the backend systems that are the hubs of data and API (Application Programming Interface). This back and forth of data can be analyzed to deduce astonishing solutions. He called IoT as the convergence of technologies that can work beyond the human imagination. He gave a business perspective to this scientific phenomenon wherein the stakeholders aspire to increase their revenue, streamline operations, reduce cost, save time, and increase visibility in the market. The strategy is subdivided to horizontal and vertical solutions - the horizontal solution takes care of devices, their connectivity, cloud, mobility and big data, while the vertical solutions move ahead with the idea of smart cities, fleet management and connected cars.
One important need satisfied by the Internet of Things is asset management. The underlying requirement is being able to know the whereabouts of your assets. The assets are tracked, monitored and managed from anywhere in the world. The global SIMs that offer connectivity throughout the continents have come to the rescue to solve the connectivity issues across changing service providers. The customized business approach provided by IoT, connects, manages and innovates.
Mr Karna also brought to the fore Global Equipment and Machinery solutions. He gave a classical example of how the aircraft engine manufacturing industries like GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt Whitney have switched to predictive analysis of aircraft engines. They now provide engines to Aircraft manufacturing industries like Boeing on ‘pay as you use basis’ rather than selling it off to them, thereby preventing huge losses by switching from capital expense to operational expense. Thus, the internet of things has practically changed the scenario of aircraft manufacturers and even prevented casualties by giving early warnings on possible breakdowns of engines and their operational status.
Mr. Karna also explained how virtualization of functions has brought a significant advancement in connected cars. The convergence of telematics and vehicle diagnostics along with infotainment has actually made ‘Connected Cars’ a reality. The usage based insurance that scores you as a driver, emergency alarms, avoiding unnecessary traffic by finding alternate pathways are the new ‘features’ that connected cars offer.
The speaker also ventured into the Healthcare Industry where the Internet of things has brought Remote Patient Monitoring to the rescue of thousands of critically ill patients. The adherence to the routine medicines to avoid secondary complications, the case management that customizes the ‘care plans’ and improvisation in the staff efficiency using IoT has made one to many patient management a cake walk for the hospitals.
Mr Arun Karna referred to IoT as an ecosystem of innovation. Besides, he also addressed queries from the audience regarding the breach of security and privacy. He mentioned that the lack of standardization in this new space has actually raised serious concerns. The students also asked the challenges faced by the IoT in marketing itself. Mr Karna said that a varied spectrum of businessmen prevail that are often tackled by providing the Proof of Concept preferably free of cost to showcase the wonders IoT can do. The rogue sensors are another impediment that IoT phenomenon faces.
All in all, the distinguished speaker enlightened and provided a vivid perspective to the management students by sharing his extensive experience that certainly opened their eyes to the world of IoT.