Robust Technology Infrastructure, Including Effective Data Storage Solutions and Powerful Connectivity, Critical to Successful M2M Implementation
Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The opportunities of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication will only be fully realized in the Middle East once businesses have developed a solid IT framework to support these applications, according to industry experts.
M2M communication allows machines to communicate without any human interaction. The technology enables devices to capture an event and relay it through a network to an application, which then translates this captured event into meaningful information that can be used by a business, service provider, or customer.
M2M applications offer businesses endless opportunities to generate new revenue streams, enhance customer service, help people make informed decisions, and more efficiently complete daily operations.
According to a 2013 report by the Sweden-based market research firm Berg Insight, the global number of wireless M2M connections is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22.9 per cent between 2014 and 2019, to reach 599.7 million at the end of the period. In 2013, the estimated number of cellular M2M subscribers was 176.4 million.
“M2M is already being widely adopted across industries. In the automotive industry, for example, manufacturers are using the technology to enhance the driver experience, and insurance companies are using it to monitor driver behavior. In the energy sector, power companies use sensors to automatically monitor electricity and water consumption, instead of sending technicians to your home to manually check the meters,” said Savitha Bhaskar, Chief Operating Officer of Dubai-based data storage and security firm, Condo Protego.
“However in order to further progress M2M technology in the region, stakeholders need to come together to establish a sturdy IT framework. This includes adequate data storage solutions that enable the quick and agile processing of information, and powerful connections for reliable communication between these applications. Only then will the full potential of M2M be realized.”
The healthcare sector is one of the key industries implementing M2M communication due to medical professionals recognizing the benefits that this technology has to offer.
Today, most medical devices work independently to monitor and report specific areas of a patient's health. Medical professionals are then required to manually combine the information to get a complete picture. However, with the use of M2M, connected applications collate and manage medical data on web-based platforms, allowing easy, but encrypted, access to information so that doctors can spend less time trying to compile information, and more time treating their patients.
Similarly, M2M communication is being utilized to help drivers avoid bottlenecks, or to provide emergency roadside assistance when needed. Manufacturers and retailers are using M2M to monitor stock inventory and automate new orders to ensure that a product does not become unavailable, and marketers are using the technology to deploy messages according to their targeted audience.
Forecasts by analysts promise anything from 12 billion to 50 billion devices connected globally by 2020, up from only 1 billion in 2010, according to a 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The report further states that the analyst firm Machina Research predicts revenue of USD 948 billion by 2020, including hardware and connectivity, a nearly eight-fold increase from USD 121 billion in 2010.
“As costs drop significantly for sensors and microprocessors, we will continue to see the increased use of these applications,” said Savitha.
“M2M is no longer just the product of sci-fi movies, it has become a reality. The possibilities are endless – it is just a matter of implementing the right technology.”