By Dr. Günter Bleimann-Gather, CEO, TEMA Technologie Marketing AG
Not so long ago, it was necessary to give an explanation when talking about M2M. This has changed quickly and fundamentally – at least within the industry. Here it is now accepted that M2M is a topical subject. The dynamism of the theme was felt in the latest M2M Alliance poll of 4,800 experts and decision-makers: It showed that the expectation of M2M regarding growth, revenue and new business markets is very high. Many other questionnaires and studies prove that M2M and the Internet of Things (IoT) belong to the top trends of the IT sector.
M2M and IoT have both left the technical teething version phase behind them and have now quickly become a broad part of day-to-day life. The economic reason for this is due to declining costs for the M2M components – in other words, for hardware, software – and special tariff structures for data connections. M2M is being used by the large infrastructure businesses in the telecommunications sector. The market for small and medium-sized firms is also gathering momentum. These are very flexible and as specialists, have a lot of know-how and good contacts in the user sectors. This is the ideal basis to establish M2M, both in the large-scale and more specialized sectors.
Well set stage
The stage is well set for M2M – aided by the efforts and actions of the M2M Alliance and the businesses and people who contribute and are actively involved in it. Future prospects look very positive, the seed has been sown and M2M has already developed well in several sectors and is reaping the first positive results. It won’t be long, before M2M can be ignored no longer. When this happens, M2M will experience a new type of recognition. M2M will no longer be a subject just for trend scouts and technical pioneers. M2M will then be a subject that is out in public and openly discussed – such as for instance, travel, medicine or power. The M2M revolution, of which one likes to speak in internal branch meetings, will suddenly get a totally new dimension. M2M will then no longer be primarily a technical topic, it will become a social and a political subject. M2M can improve the world by making it more comfortable, energy efficient, better connected, thus improving it in many categories. M2M has the potential to change many sectors significantly: not just fields such as logistics, transport and energy, but also healthcare, support / old-age care or housing. Everyone will then work with M2M.
New risks and challenges
The focus on technology and technical/economical end-user arguments could then quickly become a drawback. In a modern, media-driven world, being a world-class innovator is no easy task. All who are technically and economically invested in M2M should be prepared for this. Regardless of how discussions are celebrated in the media, there are also other, often irrational factors which play a part – mistrust, for instance, which one can lay to rest after an explanation, but also fear, which often ignores reason. What does this mean for those who want to expand the market further for M2M in future? You have to anticipate potential resentment, overcome concerns, communicate openly about the uses and dangers and how they occur – in a nutshell: Expand your viewpoint of technology and business substantially. You should also step out of your insider comfort zone and seek dialogue with many community groups and its representatives. You should find ways for M2M, not just technical, but also political, legal and social paths. You should appeal not just to the rationale but also to the peoples’ emotions.