Major potential for IoT in transportation but lots of work to do, new research finds

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A new piece of research from Inmarsat argues that a lack of data-sharing skills and processes will negate deriving the best insights from Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in the transport sector.

The research, which was conducted in May of this year by Vanson Bourne and took responses from 100 large transport companies, found many potential use cases for IoT, from monitoring environmental changes – cited by 54% of respondents – to speeding up time to market (48%).

Yet there are still various hurdles to cross before organisations get there. Two in five respondents (40%) say they would need additional analytical/data science skills to successfully deliver IoT projects, while for more than half (55%) of those polled, data gathered through these solutions was not shared throughout the organisation, restricted only to departments directly related to IoT development and deployment.

“The transport sector stands to be one of the primary beneficiaries from the windfall of data coming its way from IoT,” said Mike Holdsworth, director of transport at Inmarsat Enterprise. “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,” added Holdsworth.

That said, transportation companies are making inroads into the data analytics required. Speaking to this correspondent for the second issue of IoT News magazine, Michael Corcoran, chief marketing officer at business intelligence software provider Information Builders, discussed two clients in the shape of Ford’s warranty arm and Maverick, a transport and haulage firm based in Arkansas.

“Technology has to be applied to a very real business need – something that can have quantifiable value to the company,” said Corcoran. “Those are the things we try and help the customers hone in on, and if we do that successfully then you tend to become a trusted partner, and if you do a good job innovating and building new capabilities then you have an opportunity to stay there and expand your presence in those kinds of organisations.”

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