The digital platform economy is constantly transforming the way we work and interact. The Internet of Things (IoT) promises more freedom and functionality than ever before, with devices being used on the go and in conjunction with each other. From logistics to wearable technology, IoT could transform the way any business operates.
While IoT has undoubted transformational potential, there continues to be a concern over lack of visibility of device usage which can lead to unpredictable cellular-expenses for the customer.
For example, an employee is travelling to different countries for customer meetings. Since she will be busy with work commitments, she might not be able to check if specific usage rates of her mobile connection have been met or exceeded. As the device is being used in trans-border mode, it can soon clock up very high roaming charges.
Enterprises need to be able to control devices and actively manage how they’re used so that the employees don’t come back with huge mobile phone bills.
Mobility needs visibility
While the above example is related to human-to-machine connectivity, the need for better visibility and control is equally pressing for machine-to-machine communications – especially in sectors where devices are crossing national borders on a regular basis.
This includes supply chain, transportation, logistics or commercial vehicle fleet management. Beyond operational information of the IoT device, it is imperative for the IoT connectivity provider to provide visibility about what devices are being used and where. This will ensure complete visibility and transparency for enterprises and end-users, allowing them to guard against any overspend.
IoT connectivity providers also need to offer flexibility when it comes to national and international services. Mobile services are typically provided by nationally licensed mobile network operators (MNOs) and their partner mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Such mobile services allow customers to enjoy mobility anywhere – provided they stay within one particular national jurisdiction.
However, this approach is insufficient for businesses with global footprint and aspirations – that already have operations in different countries or are looking to expand geographically.
IoT requires more choice and flexibility, as mobility becomes truly global.
In part two of this blog post, I will discuss how the digital economy and need for visibility impacts cross-border mobility.
Read our previous blog for more information about managing intelligent enterprises.