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How IoT can transform logistics and fleet management (Part 2)

November 27, 2017

Tim Sherwood   

Blog contributor

In part one of this blog, I discussed how organisations can embrace IoT technologies to empower their workforce and drive sustainable cross-border growth. Part two of this blog will look at some other considerations around cybersecurity as well as the benefits greater connectivity will have  for your customers.

Better partner and customer engagement

Creating a great IoT customer experience is not just for B2C companies and end customers. It is important at all stages of the supply chain, both for B2B and B2C services

Let’s imagine a supervisor of the goods-in team at a busy factory that has adopted lean manufacturing and Just-in-Time delivery. In this context, having access to accurate deliveries information is paramount. IoT can improve their experience – and efficiency – by providing real-time access to delivery information easily and intuitively. It’s all about building omni-channel transparency through the delivery chain while enhancing engagement, awareness and loyalty for all parties and partners.

To make a success of an integrated supply chain, transport, logistics and fleet management companies need to provide a consistent experience across different channels and platforms, adopt a connected communications system to avoid information silos, and have the ability to scale solutions as demand fluctuates. Critical for all of this is to invest in a secure IT infrastructure that supports these new services and capabilities.

Minimise risk, maximise trust

As shown by global cyber-attacks such as WannaCry and NotPetya, any business needs an effective risk strategy to safeguard data and applications from potential threats, wherever that business is on its digital transformation journey. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure service continuity and near-zero business disruption in the event of a security breach. That is why transport, logistics and fleet management companies need to adopt an adaptive security strategy. This means shifting from an ‘incident response’ mind set to a ‘continuous response’ mind set. Typically, there are four stages in an adaptive security life cycle: preventative, detective, retrospective and predictive. Preventative security is all about blocking attacks before they affect the organisation or make it more difficult for an attacker to wreak havoc, giving the organisation more time to disable the attack in process. The aim of the detective security layer is to reduce the time that attackers spends within the system, limiting the subsequent damage. Retrospective security is like a vaccine that protects you against diseases – it turns intelligence about past attacks into future protection. Predictive security plugs into the external network of threats, monitoring hackers underground to proactively anticipate new attack types.

When it comes to safe device and cloud connectivity, requirements range from ensuring access to IoT data is kept secure over a private network to asset monitoring and effective policy controls. And, while plenty of robust security services are available to safeguard businesses from cyber threats, the added assurance of a secure mobile connectivity environment ensures greater protection for data – and greater peace of mind.

Gear up for growth

In addition to opening up new growth opportunities in all areas of transport, logistics and fleet management, deploying IoT as part of a digital transformation initiative can boost productivity, efficiency and competitive advantage. It offers partners and customers a better experience, while creating more innovative ways to do business.

If adopting new technologies sounds risky at this point, it’s important to remember that ultimately, the adoption of any new technology brings a degree of uncertainty and risk. Introducing IoT is no exception. But any concerns should be balanced against the potential benefits, not to mention the greater risk of holding back, while agile disruptors set the pace as digital transformation continues to gather speed in transport, logistics and fleet management.

Read one of our previous blogs on IoT and the smart city.