The business of IoT: Understanding the buzzwords

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If you spend a couple of hours reading up about developments in the IoT industry, you will likely be noticing a myriad of IoT related buzzwords that keep popping up. Let’s dive into a range of concepts that you may have encountered and break them down a little bit.   

Operational efficiencies

Now this term can mean a wide variety of things, depending on your industry, your market, or your business. You’re familiar with the nitty-gritty details of your operations, so have a quick think about where you could leverage IoT to provide data you could then use to improve the way you work.

This may be as simple as tracking devices on your vehicles that can monitor road conditions, which then reports back to a central dispatching system, allowing fleet managers to tweak routes and save time. You can check out our case study with Tangerine to see exactly how they’ve deployed IoT sensors in transportation, to improve business outcomes for their customers. Maybe you have large machines in a factory which can unexpectedly require repairs. Sensors can gather data about usage or degradation in the machines in order to more accurately predict when they’ll need to be maintained. Perhaps you manufacture connected devices and find that you need to update their software once they have been sold and shipped across the globe. This could be an onerous task, made simpler by an online portal and one click of a button. 

At its heart, the term “operational efficiencies” refers to the huge range of possibilities that the IoT can bring to your business. When you’ve started seeing results from your IoT deployment, these efficiencies will often result in “cost savings”.

Cost savings and ROI

The initial investment that an IoT project may require can be quickly recouped in a few different ways.

The transport company will see huge savings in their cost of labor, fuel and vehicle repair after implementing smart monitoring of their assets. Not only are they saving time with better routing, but there may also be shorter driving intervals, less fuel usage and less wear and tear on their vehicles. For the factory manager, any downtime can be costly, in addition to emergency repairs requiring an extra call out fee. Enabled by connected sensors, they’ll soon see huge savings with their predictive maintenance capabilities. The device manufacturer will save on data charges, improve customer retention, and avoid any potential liability issues. Interested in the bottom line? We’ve built an ROI calculator, with the help of Forrester, for anyone looking to connect IoT devices. It gives you an idea of how much you could be saving on your deployment with Pelion.


With forecasts of a trillion smart devices being connected by 2035, it’s difficult to comprehend the sheer number of connections that make up the IoT. When we use the term hyperscale, we’re referring to this expected growth. Every “thing” in the Internet of Things, from the tiniest sensor through to industrial gateways and beyond, will need to be securely connected and managed throughout its lifecycle. Most devices will be generating immense amounts of data which is then transmitted and analyzed, causing data storage nightmares. Consider our fleet management company and the hundreds of thousands of vehicles they monitor, constantly broadcasting the data which is collected from their sensors, in real time, over the course of many hours.


Depending on how long you expect your device to be deployed in the field, you may have read a lot about future-proofing your IoT deployment. This is a topic that is near and dear to us, with our head of Product and Strategy Niall Strachan covering it in a recent webinar.

The technology supporting the IoT is constantly changing, with new protocols and platforms popping up so often, it’s difficult to keep up. A key aspect of IoT success lies in thinking ahead while you’re scoping out your product or project. Having the ability to pivot and adapt to new developments in the market can be make or break for many PoCs. Recently, 3G networks in the US have been decommissioned, leaving businesses with devices that can’t connect and significant losses to their bottom line. Keeping a close eye on the cutting-edge of technology means you’ll be a step ahead of the competition. As an example, our product manufacturer could be implementing eSIM in their latest design, allowing their products to connect to networks right out of the box, anywhere in the world.

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