IoT at Scale: Here’s What You Need For Enterprise IoT Deployments

The Internet of Things (IoT) is ubiquitous, but not quite to the extent predicted. Current industry forecasts project nearly 30 billion connected IoT devices globally by 2030. However, just a decade ago, experts believed we would hit this mark much earlier, expecting over 50 billion devices in use worldwide by 2020. 

Security concerns, regulatory compliance and network limitations are just some of the factors that have prevented a more rapid IoT adoption. As innovations are introduced to help overcome these obstacles, it becomes more feasible for companies to take the next step in large-scale IoT deployment.

For most enterprises, IoT adoption requires not only a hardware vendor but also consulting partners for change management and potentially a restructuring to a service-based business model. As new rules and regulations emerge for the telecommunications industry, it’s particularly important to choose a future-proof solution for expanding connectivity.

I joined Matt Hatton, founder of the technology industry research firm Transforma Insights, on a recent Eseye webinar to discuss key considerations for businesses when choosing an IoT deployment partner. Here are some guiding criteria for company leaders.

IoT isn’t just about collecting data. Any project needs a business outcome — how will you use the data? Only then does it make sense to plan an enterprise deployment strategy.

The introduction of IoT also has the opportunity to open new lines of revenue. “There are things like efficiency savings, but there are also some more transformational options like moving to a service-based business model,” Matt explains. Companies are no longer just thinking about their products but also the end user’s entire purchasing journey.

Consider Costa Coffee, which operates more than 13,500 express coffee vending machines across 17 countries. Data collection on custom orders completed through the mobile app allows for segmented marketing and a streamlined user interface across locations. Interconnectivity has turned a simple cup of coffee into a highly personalized experience.

Thinking about the end user’s interactions with a product can also help set priorities in the research and development phase. Think of a pet location tracker, for example. An IoT-enabled dog collar probably doesn’t need the same level of cybersecurity or HIPAA compliance as a hospital’s electronic medical records system.

The vast majority of consumer IoT devices operate on a short-range Wi-Fi network — picture home devices such as smart speakers, thermostats or televisions. Yet some of the highest revenue potential is through investments into cellular low-power, wide-area networks (LPWAN). For example, connected buildings and smart city initiatives for pedestrian safety, traffic control and other system monitoring need connected access to mobile network operators (MNO).

LPWAN use cases that move outside of a tight geographic area — for example, tracking shipping containers for supply chain optimization — inevitably need to switch MNOs as they move between different carrier service areas, especially internationally.

This happens through an embedded universal integrated circuit card, more commonly known as an eUICC transfer. With an eUICC, devices can automatically switch to a new mobile network without requiring a physical SIM card.

But projects can get tricky when large-scale IoT deployment occurs. When an eUICC transfer happens, the device location doesn’t forward to the system tracking it. The loss is analogous to viewing a website on Google Chrome and then, mid-session, switching to Microsoft Edge. The new browser does not automatically carry over your search history, so you need to look up the website again.

Even if devices remain stationary, some international markets enforce permanent roaming restrictions, making it prohibitively expensive or even impossible for a device to remain connected to a foreign MNO for more than a few months.

Despite the frustrations they cause for IoT, embedded SIM cards (eSIMs) are here to stay. All 5G multi-access networks rely on eSIMs for faster speeds and greater coverage. Reaching 99% connectivity across a geographic market area is often critical for the viability of an IoT deployment strategy. An enterprise plan needs a sustainable way to avoid drops in coverage.

A federated network provides a solution. Eseye’s AnyNet Federation is the world’s largest network of mobile operators providing global coverage to more than 700 MNOs in more than 190 countries with eSIM localization. This gives businesses access and choice to international networks without the risk of roaming charges and the risk of devices being disconnected due to permanent roaming issues.

To give an example, imagine a U.S.-based manufacturer selling IoT-enabled machinery to Southeast Asia. AnyNet can localize the device to a regional telecom provider that already has the infrastructure and connectivity without requiring the original device manufacturer to negotiate a separate contract. For global enterprises, this gives added peace of mind about device compliance regulations in each market seeing as local providers are often best equipped to navigate specific networking requirements.

Here’s the bottom line: when choosing an IoT deployment partner, it’s important to select one not only capable of delivering continuous connectivity but also experienced in working with regional MNOs.

In addition to solving connectivity challenges, a federated network provides cybersecurity advantages. As more devices come online each year, the security risk only grows.

“To a certain extent, IoT is a victim of its own success,” Matt observes. “We’ve seen numerous security challenges with hacks and exposures of security limitations.”

How numerous? Kaspersky tracked 1.5 billion IoT security breaches on smart devices over just six months in 2021. Security concerns are often a significant inhibitor of enterprises moving forward with IoT deployment plans, but choosing the right partner can alleviate some fears.

Some liabilities aren’t in the possibility of a hack but rather in financial penalties or settlements for a data breach. Keeping IoT devices on local networks supports data sovereignty — a country’s right to control data created within its borders.

For example, localized networks in China can adhere to the nation’s restrictive cross-border data transfer rules for financial information while still sending telemetry data back to original equipment manufacturers. International enterprises should take preventative actions both against immediate cybersecurity threats and down-the-road legal consequences. From increasing connectivity to developing robust security protocols, comprehensive IoT strategies will help companies excel.

In many technology-focused organizations, IoT is no longer optional if the company wants to remain competitive. “IoT adoption is becoming more fundamental to how organizations are operating rather than just being about some nice-to-have small element of cost saving,” says Matt.

The shift necessitates changes in business processes and models. Skilled partners will help enterprises appropriately rethink existing procedures and leverage IoT to bring about changes in business operations, including efficiency savings and transformational shifts towards service-based models.

This article is based on an Eseye webinar, Enterprise IoT Strategies and Best Practices for Successful Deployment. View the full presentation for more IoT insights, and connect with Eseye to see how our experts can drive your business forward.

Nick Earle

CEO & Chairman


Nick spearheads Eseye and believes in connectivity that ‘just works’; that makes people’s lives and jobs easier; connectivity that’s invisible. He’s a visionary business leader with a distinguished career in technology spanning more than 30 years, spanning large corporations and dynamic start-ups and oscillating between start-ups and global IT, tech and transportation companies.

Previously, Nick led organisations and cross-company transformation programs for two $50B global corporations; Cisco where he ran the Cloud and Managed Services business as well as their Worldwide Field Services function, and Hewlett Packard where he ran the global Enterprise Marketing function and the internet transformation strategy.

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