THE case for introducing machine-to-machine (M2M) technology into the workplace is gaining in traction, with solutions providers continuing to innovate and push the boundaries of what such technologies can achieve.
While its adoption in Namibia is seemingly at very low pace, suitors need to realise that the whole concept of M2M solutions – devices connecting, communicating, and working directly with one another – is that it can be anything organisations want and need it to be. All it takes is the right app or piece of code to be built around it.
At this stage in its adoption, many IT managers don’t necessarily understand the potential of M2M, while fears around data and network security persist, particularly in the wake of recent global cyber-attacks.
Whereas stationary solutions, such as sensors, kick-started the market and remain popular, mobile M2M solutions provide vast opportunities across numerous sectors – helping to improve workflows, enhance interactions with staff and customers, and even improve the safety of workers.
One natural example lies within the healthcare sector, where – from a consumer perspective – the fitness device market is already reaching a point of saturation. Looking at this from a professional angle, similar devices can be used to help doctors manage wellness, rather than illness – with healthcare data being transmitted in real-time.
Whether the patient is at home or in hospital, medical professionals can continuously monitor vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure, ensuring predictive diagnosis and the introduction of preventative measures, at the earliest possible stage.
Elsewhere, peripherals like smart glasses (wearable display technology) can ensure a hands-free solution to workers, across a range of roles – from oil rig workers to utility services.
The manufacturing sector is one in which M2M already figures heavily. For example, machines on the production line can engage with one another, so that in case of a malfunction in one area, other machines are notified and can shut down safely, while the fault is attended to.
Beyond the devices themselves, operating systems will also play a crucial role in the progression of M2M in the professional world. Currently, the focus is very much on writing software for iOS and Android – a smartphone-onus, which again signifies the advanced stage of the consumer market.
Yet the natural progression is for solutions providers to expand their focus to incorporate Windows 10. This will serve as a catalyst for creating a greater number of solutions, designed for professional use, which in turn will inspire more companies to turn their attention to developing M2M coding and apps, to address different business needs.
It is only a matter of time before M2M becomes a major enabler for organisations across a number of sectors in Namibia.
With such game-changing potential, it’s important for IT managers to get ahead of the curve, and to understand how these technologies can empower their businesses.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015