IoT data to revolutionise global transport sector but restrictions may limit potential, finds Inmarsat

A new Internet of Things (IoT) research study from Inmarsat, a provider of global mobile satellite communications, has found that while global transport businesses expect IoT technology to revolutionise the industry,

many of these organisations lack the skills and data-sharing processes required to extract the maximum value from the data generated by IoT solutions.

In May 2017 market research specialist Vanson Bourne interviewed respondents from 100 large transport companies across the globe for Inmarsat’s ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise – 2017’ report, which found that organisations from the sector have high hopes for the data generated by their IoT solutions.

Around half will use it to monitor environmental changes (54%) and speed up their time to market (48%), 44% will use it to better manage their assets, and 28% will use it to monitor and improve health and safety.

However, the report also identified a number of challenges that transportation businesses must overcome to unlock the full value of IoT-generated data, with many lacking the skills and processes needed to do so. 40% stated that they would need additional analytical/data science skills to successfully deliver IoT and in over half (55%) of cases data gathered through IoT solutions was not shared throughout the organisation, and is restricted to departments directly related to IoT development and deployment.

Commenting on the findings, Mike Holdsworth, director of Transport at Inmarsat Enterprise, said: “The transport sector stands to be one of the primary beneficiaries from the windfall of data coming its way from IoT. Digital exhaust, the data generated by people’s online actions, can be an important source of intelligence for transport companies, and as rollout of Wi-Fi on planes, trains and other public places continues, evermore data sets will become available.

Furthermore, data generated by sensors placed on cargo, vehicles, employees and places, has the potential to fuel a revolution in the sector. But while the industry has long leveraged passenger data to dynamically manage routing and calculate fuel requirements, many of our transport respondents haven’t yet mastered their approach to the data generated by connected things.

Mike Holdsworth

“Experimentation and innovation with IoT can only ignite when the right people can see the data generated by sensors and apply it to their specific challenges. However, in half of cases in the transport sector, access to IoT data is restricted to departments directly related to the deployment. This is a missed opportunity and suggests that many transport companies may be limiting the scope of their transformations,” he continued.

Holdsworth concluded: “IoT is the driving force behind digital transformation in the sector and the technology will play an increasingly important role in helping transportation and logistics companies achieve a competitive advantage. Working with our partners, Inmarsat is delivering effective solutions for fleet management across road and rail platforms globally.

Positioning and telemetry comes naturally to us. By combining our heritage in critical connectivity, with LoRaWAN technology and data analytics platforms that allow for the free-flow of data across organisations, we are helping to ensure transportation companies get ahead of the competition.”

IoT is changing the way that businesses operate, but it is dependent upon reliable connectivity. Many of the locations that would benefit most from IoT technologies are remote and are situated where terrestrial networks do not reach, or do not work well, all of the time. Inmarsat provides global satellite connectivity with up to 99.99% uptime, allowing IoT projects to thrive, even in the most remote and hostile environments.

For more about the research and to download the ‘The Future of IoT in Enterprise – 2017’ report click here.

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