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IOTFA2019: Polymorph CEO gives insights on how IoT unlocks real business value

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#IOTFA2019: Polymorph CEO gives insights on how IoT unlocks real business value
Richard Barry, Chief Executive Officer of Polymorph.

The third Internet of Things Forum Africa 2019 is set to take place on 26 to 27 March at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The highly anticipated event is targeted at thought leaders, IoT ecosystem participants and experts in Africa. It will create a platform for industry players to share their knowledge of real-world IoT trends, challenges and solutions.

In an interview prior to his presentation at the upcoming IoT Forum Africa 2019, Richard Barry, the Chief Executive Officer of Polymorph shares insights on how the IoT Product Development company is building IoT products across many industries and unlocks real business value for their customers.

How can the use of Internet of Things help to measure and manage business productivity?

Connected sensors can help us track assets and people while they are busy doing their work. For many workers, the type of work they do means interacting with machines and tools, often many different machines and tools. IoT allows us to measure and gather more data about the operation of the machines, as well as how they are used, where they are located and how effective they are being used by workers. This data allows us to help the workers be more effective, by giving them relevant information that helps them. An example is showing the location of a tool needed to complete a task on a large factory floor. Searching for the tool can take up to half the time necessary to complete the task.

It saves time and cost lost by workers having to first locate the correct tools, time and cost of being able to maintain the machines before costly breakdowns, time and cost of having the right information to effectively execute on a task in front of them.

How can businesses ensure that their IoT breach detection is effective?

Good Security is not a feature that is added at the end of product development. Good Security is the result of a good product development process, where security is designed and tested as part of the process from the start, on all levels of the product. Using secure protocols and a proven secure platform forms a large part of our IoT security strategy. Any secure platform should have good monitoring, logging and auditing as part of the platform in order to detect but ultimately prevent breaches. As in life, prevention is better than cure.

How does Polymorph help clients and partners build innovative solutions?

Through 8 years of Product Innovation with clients such as Peace Parks Foundation, LifeQ, Energy Partners and Bloodhound Technologies, we have the experience of bringing some of the most innovative ideas to reality in the market. We are User Driven and Client Centric. We build products for the people that will use them, so our clients have valuable products that they can take to that market. We build products that solve real problems, so our clients can build businesses around those products. That’s the key to having successful products for our clients. Their success becomes our success.

In your opinion, do you think African organisations are open to embracing technological solutions such as IoT?

Definitely. The Return on Investment IoT solutions can bring in Africa is higher than in the more developed world in my opinion. The leap in productivity and effectiveness that IoT can bring to African organisations is clear and is evident in the wide range of IoT products we are building with African clients. From applications in conservation to energy intelligence systems. As we build more success stories that show a clear return on investment, more organisations will embrace IoT to help them be more effective.

What are some of the challenges that businesses encounter when adopting IoT?

The broad technical knowledge needed to develop IoT products can be overwhelming. From the different connectivity options to platform options, to specific use cases where IoT can be successful.

Then there’s the challenge of maintaining and supporting thousands of devices out there in the field once the product becomes successful. Management of SIMs and data, upgrading of firmware, reliable scaling of backend infrastructure as the amount of data increases exponentially.

Choosing an IoT product development partner that has the necessary knowledge, proven experience and ability to manage the full IoT product stack in partnership with the client is crucial.

The Polymorph Maker’s Days event has for the past two years showcased some of the most innovative projects. What does Polymorph aim to achieve with this event and what impact does it have?

Polymorph’s Maker Days is an opportunity for innovation and learning outside the boundaries of projects. We get to play with new technology that interests us and learn by doing. The aim is simply to create a space and time for unrestricted innovation. It’s a great way to keep innovation central to our culture.

By Fundisiwe Maseko
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