Vodafone sees rosy M2M future but highlights potential security issues

POSTED BY Anthony Cox
It’s not so long ago that M2M was viewed as the poor relation to standard “human” voice and data services. Now it is firmly on the radar of the operator heavyweights. According to Vodafone, a fifth of businesses globally now have an M2M deployment in place, with 98 per cent already seeing return on investment. Perhaps more significant is that M2M will develop from services used internally to customer-facing processes within the next three years, says Vodafone, in its News and Insight M2M predictions 2015.

So what else can Vodafone tell us? First, Vodafone expects the automotive and manufacturing sectors to outpace expectations and “enter the fast lane,” with M2M moving from a luxury add-on to a commoditised necessity. 

Next, Big Data will become increasingly important. According to Vodafone, today, 75 per cent of M2M adopters say they are using analytics and 88 per cent expect to do so in three years’ time. This trend reflects a more sophisticated approach to integrating big data and M2M.

A third trend, says Vodafone is that, as 4G becomes increasingly prevalent, businesses will have more opportunity to invent new applications such as video-based security, in-vehicle information services, Assisted Living and mHealth solutions.

More than 72 per cent of companies, though, see security breaches as a major concern, even if only 12 per cent would consider it a main barrier to M2M adoption. “Increased data sharing will push the issue of governance up the agenda,” notes Vodafone- “the more data you store and make accessible around your organisation, the greater the privacy and security risks you have to plan for,” says the global operator. Not that this will hold up deployment of M2M: “security will continue to evolve leading to more standardised and productised hosted services. Security will be inbuilt, become stronger, easier to manage and more cost-effective.”