The greatest expectations for MWC 2017

Craig McNeil

When the tech and mobile industries gather at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, we can expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to take centre-stage. From how it can be used to define competitive advantage to creating new opportunities for commerce, how to harness IoT will be front of mind.

Here are some of the themes that Craig McNeil, IoT practice lead at Accenture Mobility, part of Accenture Digital, expects to be big in Barcelona.

The new, applied now

This year companies will cut through the hype to see the benefits of the IoT as it is being applied today. No longer something to be excited about only for the future, we will see how the IoT is being applied now to enable new connections, new intelligence and new experiences to improve the way people live and work.

To help cut through hype, we’ll see enterprises benefit from an increasing focus on the speed, to testing for new solutions and IoT pilots. At relatively low cost and low risk, businesses are becoming more empowered than ever to trial-run IoT use cases and establish what will work for them, before committing to a global roll-out.

Competitive advantage in the IoT

For those organisations undertaking IoT projects beyond small-scale pilots, this will be the year we see them start to define their competitive advantage. Their plans for IoT projects and the results of completed pilots will be a popular topic of conversation behind closed doors at MWC. Ecosystem discussions themselves will progress from being about ‘potential’ IoT use cases, to assessing how to implement real, impactful projects at scale to affect tangible change.

For others less advanced in their IoT implementations, MWC will be an opportunity to look around for inspiration, with strong momentum continuing to build at pace. Businesses will look to identify how new connections can transform their operations and business models, and we will see more examples of how IoT is making a difference than ever before.

Convergence of IoT and commerce raises potential for Blockchain

The IoT opens up huge opportunities for commerce, and Blockchain will once again be one of the most talked about technologies at MWC as we see the convergence between the IoT and commerce pick up speed.

IoT-enabled contextual commerce already exists. But at MWC, I expect to see an increase in connected devices using Machine Learning to predict what users want by analysing historical and current data. With integrated payment capabilities, devices could offer products or services at the right time, the right price and to the right place.

If rules have been set, they might even autonomously order and pay for replacement parts or replenishment of groceries, without the need for any human intervention whatsoever.

I expect MWC to have some great examples of IoT devices helping people buy things, hassle-free. Blockchain will be talked about not just as a way for banks to transfer funds, but as a way to enable new transactions, and to help to make IoT commerce secure, efficient and seamless for users.

The author of this blog is Craig McNeil, IoT practice lead at Accenture Mobility, part of Accenture Digital

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

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