The Internet of Things is finding its way onto MSPs' agendas for 2016. At the CompTIA EMEA Conference in London earlier this week Andy Dow, HP Enterprise Business Unit & Group Marketing Director talked about the opportunities that the Internet of Things (or IoT) presents to MSPs and what businesses need to do to position themselves to take advantage of the changes that are coming.
For MSPs who depend upon selling and supporting infrastructure for their livelihood, and who will be most negatively impacted by the growth of cloud platform services, the Internet of Things offers a real opportunity for growth. Gartner forecast that by 2020 there will be a $309 billion incremental opportunity for IoT suppliers, mostly in services. And by 2020 it is reported that there will be 50 billion connected devices. For MSP’s, this means more clients with IP connected devices as more and more businesses looking to use the Internet to connect and control different devices to monitor performance, control processes, and secure property, people and information.
As consumer IoT technologies are gaining ground, homes fitted with smart thermostats, increased usage of personal fitness trackers, internet-linked home entertainment systems, so too is use of business applications, connecting devices, vehicles and machinery to turn pockets of technology into networks, driving automation and data collection and analysis.
IoT technology can be employed to cover a wide range of functions, from industry specific applications to uses in utilities and premises security, for example, reconfirming doors and windows are locked, alarms set and movement within specific areas results in alarms being sent to law enforcement.
Companies operating fleets of vehicles can leverage IoT technology to monitor the current condition of each vehicle, perform vehicle diagnostics, alert when vehicles are outside their specified service area and much more.
Smart meters can give companies more control over consumption of electricity and other utility services.
Application in healthcare looks like it will be huge, monitoring patients and administering medicine as required. According to marketresearch.com healthcare IoT market is poised to hit $117 billion by 2020.
IoT factory automation, robotics, supply chain management, sensor monitoring of product movement with real-time analytics and many other techniques can all contribute powerfully a business’ bottom line.
So, the opportunities are definitely there for MSPs to take up, but to make this happen you’ll need to consider the following:
- Keep a constant eye out for opportunities for your customers to leverage the IoT to increase efficiencies, keep up-to-date with the offerings in the market place that you could sell onto your client base
- Be ready to deal with the big data and security issues that are associated with large scale data collection and analysis in the cloud
- Set up your internal infrastructure to support IoT services. You will need the right internal billing infrastructure in place in order to handle to complexities of billing that IoT brings. A system that can handle recurring revenue billing based on consumption or volume-based charges.
For more information on how to set up your billing infrastructure to prepare to take advantage of IoT growth opportunities get in touch.
About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. HBS is an independent company based in the UK. Follow HarmonyPSA on Twitter or LinkedIn