This paper and the associated research sought to answer the following research question:
What is the impact of machine to machine (M2M) communication on the dairy industry in New Zealand, and what is the likely impact in the future?
Information and communication technology (ICT) plays a significant role in the information flow across the dairy value chain. M2M communication is a critical component of this information flow. For the dairy industry to move from where it is today, to where the benefits that can be achieved from the adoption of ICT’s are maximised will take significant advances in thinking.
There were three components to the research that was undertaken for this paper. These were; a thorough literature review to identify key concepts, a survey of 64 dairy farmers, and four interviews with providers of solutions that utilise M2M communications.
A key finding from the research was that, M2M communication is currently having a limited impact on the dairy industry in New Zealand. The potential impact is much greater than what is currently being experienced. Attempts should be made to accelerate the rate of adoption in order t o increase the impact.
The information flow that M2M communication enables will help add value and ensure sustainability in the increasingly competitive, and volatile dairy industry. This paper recommends that an increase in the impact of the solutions that utilise M2M communication, can be achieved by:
- Gaining a greater understanding of why and how technological change occurs.
- Increasing the level of understanding of the technologies behind the solutions.
- Prioritising the solutions that are going to give the greatest return on investment.
- Industry collaboration around the direction of M2M communication.
M2M communication presents a great opportunity to be able to gain significant control of the dairy value chain. Today the technology is emerging and its impact is limited. This relative immaturity of M2M communication in the dairy industry, will eventually be overcome by time. It is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the dairy industry to play a role in maximising what is such a large opportunity, through the acceleration of its uptake.