Energy Sector At Forefront Of IoT Adoption In India

Smart city corridors and energy management are among the drivers of Internet of Things in India.
Published: Fri 15 May 2015

Indian enterprises are at the early stages of understanding the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) on their business, according to analysts Gartner, Inc. However, although IoT is gaining popularity, security concerns and the lack of relevant business cases may limit adoption in the shorter term and adoption will advance at a slow pace through 2020.

According to Gartner, IoT adoption in India is currently limited to a few verticals including energy and utilities as well as oil and gas, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), transportation, healthcare and government.

IoT in energy and utilities

In the energy and utilities sector, segments such the state electricity boards, transmission and distribution companies and private power producers are adopting smart grid technology, not only to manage power supply and demand, but also to study customers' power usage behaviour. A select few companies in the Indian oil and gas industry have initiated IoT pilot projects for cost-effective remote monitoring and maintenance of pipeline networks.

“While Indian enterprises have grappled with finding a justifiable business case for IoT investment and deployment, the government sector in India seems to have taken  rapid strides in certain key areas that are paving the way for IoT adoption and opening up new business opportunities for IoT solution providers,” says Ganesh Ramamoorthy, research VP at Gartner.

Gartner expects government-sponsored initiatives to be the key drivers for IoT adoption in India over the next five years. These include smart city industrial corridor, energy management, transport and traffic, and water quality management projects, in which the central or the state government, the local city municipal corporation, or the government-owned public-sector organizations are directly funding the initiatives.

IoT challenges in India

According to Gartner a key challenge facing IoT solution providers is the lack of a holistic, framework-based approach on the government's part to building smart cities. Many Indian state governments are adopting a project-based approach which focuses mainly on rolling out ad hoc projects with immediate, measurable benefits for citizens. While this approach helps in assuring tangible benefits to the citizens, it carries the risk of implementing non-standard and incompatible systems based on soon-to-be obsolete technologies.

Verticals who implement IoT pilot projects will see an increase in data center and storage spending as the IoT generates billions of data points that must be stored, processed and analyzed. The impact of IoT on the server market will be focused largely on increased investment in key vertical industries and organizations related to those industries in which IoT can be profitable or add significant value. In other enterprises, where the value of IoT may be marginal, server budgets may well be re-ordered in the context of the server budget priorities, or some projects may go ahead, utilizing existing assets.

“The impact of the IoT on storage will be significant because there will be huge amounts of data to save and manage, which will affect how organizations design and maintain their storage systems,” said Aman Munglani, research director at Gartner. “IoT product marketing and product development managers will need to address scalability and cost-effectiveness of their solutions in the context of the enterprises' data center and storage, and the larger IT budget.”