How do I justify investing in IoT for my business?
How could an IoT solution help my business?
Let’s look at an example…
How about another example…
I see how IoT can help my business, but what will it cost me?
What are the cost elements in an IoT solution?
You will need a device to do what you need to do – take a reading, send a location or trigger an alarm. This will typically be a one-off cost of £15 to £500, ranging from a basic GPRS tracker in a vehicle to a flow meter working in a harsh environment.
You also need something to allow the device to use a network, an IoT ‘module’. That enables the device to connect back to the office. In many cases this will be part of the device itself and so included in the price. If this is needed as a discrete item, it will typically be a one-off cost of between £5 and £25 depending on the data speed your application requires and the type of network you are connecting to.
The cost of the network to connect to your device will typically depend on the volume of data your device uses. Mobile is the most widely available network type that could be used, so a useful proxy. We have all become used to increasing data allowances on our phones as we use them for more things. The currency of data allowances has seamlessly moved from Mb to Gb. It is expected that data use on our phones grew from 1.7Gb in 2016 to 8.8Gb in 2021 . Fortunately, the costs have not increased in the same way. However, coming to IoT with data costs based on smartphones would be a mistake.
A typical IoT application uses under 5Mb per month. That should cost no more than a total of £2.00 per month including any extras added by the provider such as monthly activation or portal use costs - something to watch for beyond the per Mb price. Other network types, should they be available and suitable, could be a lower cost.
There may also be data storage costs to allow data from the device to be held for trend, audit and historic analysis. As we are increasingly using cloud storage for things now it is likely it could be used for storage of your IoT data too. You will also need an application to reach and read/trigger your device. This is usually bundled with the device itself, so no further cost.
Assuming a device life of 3 years, it means that the average daily cost per device would be around 30p – less than the cost of the milk for your coffee. When you set that against the potential time IoT could save you, never mind the increased revenue opportunities and customer care benefits the case is overwhelming. It is no longer can you afford IoT, but more you can’t afford to not have IoT. It is one of the most important investment opportunities for your business.