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IOT Trends for 2018

 

We spoke with a number of IT leaders and industry experts about what to expect from IoT in the coming year and what could be the latest trends for IOT which will dominate 2018.

Following are the Internet of things trends to watch out for in 2018.

1.The IOT industry will bring a changed awareness around security and risk:

Security concerns will be high on the list. We have reached a point in the evolution of IoT when we need to re-think the types of security we are putting in place. Have we truly addressed the unique security challenges of IoT, or have we just patched existing security models into IoT with the hope that it is sufficient?

IOT presents a different kind of risk. Businesses need to understand that sensors and machine-to-machine communications are also stored in the cloud. In particular, facilities implementing devices connected to the IoT need to think about communication and the security protocols between devices: sensor-to-sensor communication, sensor-to-gateway communication, and updating and maintaining all on-premise equipment to better secure their data.

Tom Smith is a research analyst for DZone.com and he queried these IT professionals to get their insights on predictions for 2018. Here’s what IOT experts shared their thoughts on IoT trends for 2018.

IoT security will continue to dominate as a major concern, and I would expect the rise of several IoT-driven platforms to rise to the surface in an attempt to address and manage this. Says Lucas Vogel, Founder, Endpoint Systems

My hope is that there will be some adopted regulations around IoT security and compliance, otherwise, there will undoubtedly be more frequent and massive attacks. The fully-connected home will move closer to being a reality, and there will be unique solutions that address actual needs instead of just being “internet-connected”. Says Mike Kail, CTO, CYBRIC

2. Businesses will need to embrace the implementation of edge and cloud computing: 

Edge computing, also known as fog computing, will continue to rise. The ability to run software at the edge is turning out to be one of the most promising accelerators of IoT adoption, given the cost savings and the ability to quickly achieve largescale systems.

3. Connectivity Management: 

Another exciting new area involves the management of whole IoT systems or solutions. Device management and connectivity management has been around for several years already, but now that the pieces of IoT systems are coming together to form whole enterprise-scale solutions, management of these solutions has become higher up on the “tech wish list” for organizations.

4. IOT vs IIOT:

In addition, the separation between consumer IoT and Industrial IoT is becoming clearer all the time. One key distinction that is now apparent is that consumer IoT can often focus on greenfield installations but IIoT must enable brownfield installations. The investments in systems and equipment that were made by industrial firms over the last decades will continue to be in place and will need to be incorporated into IIoT solutions.

We’re seeing a trend towards a lot more IIoT use cases. As we move into 2018, we will see a much higher adoption of industrial IoT where sensors are making a big impact in the manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and engineering sectors. Other areas where we expect greater uptake of IoT systems include shipping, retail, agriculture, and healthcare. This expansion will trigger a need to hire many more IoT professionals and will likely see the rise of many new types of IoT specific roles within companies.

Many verticals still have business operations that involve manual observation of equipment status, inventory levels, and other key metrics. Where there is currently manual observation, there may be a great opportunity for a high-ROI project involving IoT. Some verticals that have a lot of manual observations are Oil & Gas, Energy Distribution, Supply Chain, and Telecommunications. The repeating theme is high-value infrastructure that is spread out geographically.

Thanks Kilton Hopkins, IoT Program Director forNortheastern University-Silicon Valley and the CEO of IOTRACKS, for providing your inputs to this article.

 

 

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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