“It’s more about them being educated of capabilities that they’re not yet aware of,” he said. “Intelligent things help to mitigate risk before an incidence occurs – with analytics improving efficiencies, allowing to businesses think about how to use data to speed up delivery timeframes.
“The larger companies are starting to use intelligent things more effectively. But there needs to be that education for all customers, because with machine data, you don’t really know what data they have and therefore, you don’t understand what it can tell them and how it can be used to improve efficiencies.”
For PowerNET IT Solutions director and head of service delivery, Daniel Williams, businesses are learning more about intelligent things, understanding how to leverage the technology internally.
Previously however, organisations wanted to lower the costs of ownership to improve profitability, in addition to looking to do more with less to improve efficiency. But today, conversations with customers have evolved.
“It’s still in its infancy but people are understanding that efficiency now isn’t just about trying to do things at a lower cost, but trying to make things more scalable by looking at automation, and how they can apply machine learning to ensure increased productivity and efficiency.”
In recent times, Williams said technologies involving intelligent things have lent themselves to be used in the SMB space.
“A few years ago, this was something only for enterprise,” he said. “Now, SMBs have it in their reach and it can be applied to them.”
Having operated across the public transport, logistics and retail verticals - through key vendor partnerships with Fujitsu, Sophos and Datto - PowerNET IT Solutions recently struck a customer deal to provide security-based solutions.
“It was designed to protect them from ransomware and CryptoLocker threats,” Williams explained.
“It goes beyond your firewall or anti-virus in putting in a third layer intelligent solution that uses machine learning to look for behaviours on their systems, responding to them and proactively preventing a threat.
“This provided the assurance that there were tools in place capable of actively monitoring systems rather than dealing with the consequences of not catching one when it occurs.”
Williams said leading the intelligent things conversation with customers is security and threat minimisation.
“Businesses are far more informed now and know that you can never have complete protection, so they’re looking for more innovative and intelligent ways to give their businesses the added advantage that they need,” he said.
But Williams sees a challenge in educating clients on what is available to them in the world of intelligent things and how they can leverage that to fulfil their business requirements.
“People know about these intelligent things and have a rough idea about them, but being able to help them bring it to their business and make it relevant to them, is probably the biggest challenge I foresee,” he added.
Looking ahead, Williams believes the channel should collectively collaborate to transmit such a message to businesses, in the hope of making it a less intimidating topic to discuss.
“It remains to be seen, and will be different for every industry, but it’s an always-on source of information and businesses should focus on how to use it,” he added. “There’s plenty that the channel can do in this space going forward.”
This article originally appeared in the February issue of ARN magazine - to subscribe, click here