Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 23 - Page 41

FEATURE: IOT Market opportunities of businesses plan to start using IoT technologies by 2019. Verticals such as manufacturing and transportation use large data sets to optimise operation processes and extend the life of high-capital cost assets, while for sectors like healthcare and consumer IoT technology is used to produce benefits that improve quality of life. In the oil and gas sector, budget constraints will push crude producers to improve and increase efficiencies in general by exploring ways to make its oilfields smarter, such as with unmanned oilfields, and by leveraging IoT technology to digitise operations and benefit from big data and analytics, sensors and control systems. “Manufacturing and transportation are the vertical industries leading the way in terms of IoT investment in the Middle East. Other industries in the Middle East which are adopting IoT include oil and gas, utilities, education, banking and finance, healthcare, retail, sports and telecommunications,” continues Cisco’s Younes. Fast payback of IoT investments can be generated by reduced labour costs, lower production costs, increased productivity, improved quality and faster decision making. Subsequent projects can lead to new value propositions such as mass customisation or personalisation, new markets, and better understanding of the needs and concerns of the people who use your products or services. While automation and more efficient processes may eliminate some jobs, IoT is creating many new job opportunities, from data scientists, to remote operators, to application developers. As the IoT- based economy drives trillions of dollars in economic growth, some industries merge and new ones are created, there will be a worldwide scramble for the same IoT-capable workers. Developing an IoT-enabled workforce is not an option; it is a must. You could implement IoT solutions and integrate them with your business processes, IoT is over-delivering: The real-world benefits gained from IoT are exceeding original expectations in all areas. ROI is looking good: Four-fifths of companies that use IoT technology report seeing an increase in business efficiency, while the average return on investment from an IoT deployment is 34%. Fady Younes is Deputy Managing Director and Operations Director of East Region at Cisco Middle East but if your workforce is not ready in terms of both skills and culture, IoT transformation will fail. As the transition to IoT, mobility, cloud and other emerging technologies gather speed in the enterprise, a gap in technology skills approaches. In response, Cisco has introduced specialised certifications for partners, which also include Advanced IoT specialisations in Connected Safety and Security, Industry Expert and Manufacturing. Many claim to know what IoT means, but few really know: A massive 98% of those surveyed think they have the true definition, but there is no consensus. IoT has some hurdles to clear: IoT has proven its value but barriers still exist. Cost of implementation (50%), maintenance (44%), and integration of legacy technologies (43%), are the top three. IoT brings opportunities, but also threats: Alarmingly, 84% of organisations that use IoT have experienced an IoT-related security breach. Arguably Europe and the wider EMEA region have a more conservative