It’s likely you’ve already heard the term IoT, or Internet of Things, being tossed around by thought leaders and technology buffs. With tech becoming such a huge part of our everyday lives, it is no wonder. But what exactly does it mean and why is it so important to businesses today?
Let’s start with the basics.
What is IoT?
The Internet of Things refers to any device, vehicle or appliance connected to the internet, sharing and collecting data across a network. This connectivity is achieved by embedding an item with sensors, software, or actuators. IoT devices can be remotely controlled and operate independently of human intervention, which naturally adds another layer of intelligence to a device that would otherwise be less useful.
IoT applies to many things, from a lightbulb that can be switched on via phone to sensors added to a jet engine to improve in-flight analytics.
Other examples of IoT include wearables such as fitness trackers, cars that connect to smartphones and smart devices that automatically track inventory.
IoT can be extremely advantageous for a variety of industries. For example BI intelligence expects utility companies to save $157 billion by 2035 using smart meters and the city of Los Angeles reported a 63 percent savings on its energy bill in the first year using an IoT-enabled lighting system.
The Future of IoT
Considering how many things are already connected to the internet, it is no surprise that the growth of IoT will only continue. In fact, there are more web-controlled devices and applications than there are people in the world. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), there will be a projected 30 billion connected things by 2020 (just two years from now!), $1.7 trillion in sales.
IoT is more than just an added convenience in our personal lives. Businesses will also need to get on board if they plan to drive new efficiencies and keep up with the competition. Of course, for smaller companies, the benefits may be on a lesser scale, but the value holds true nonetheless.
Every organization wants more efficiency, productivity, speed, and accessibility. IoT helps achieve this. Smart devices will follow consumer patterns. Inventory will be more easy to track, remote workers will be able to stay more connected than ever, and your team can analyze and managing data with greater ease.
With all of those positive attributes, it is important to note that anything connected to the internet is susceptible to hacking. Even though cybersecurity is already a huge issue for many companies, it will only grow with the rise of IoT. Fortunately, true IT services professionals understand the vulnerabilities of these technologies and can help organizations reduce those risks.
The internet is everywhere and practically connects to everything today. With the creation of more and more devices with Wi-Fi capabilities, and our reliance on technologies that improve our lifestyle quality growing, it is no wonder that the Internet of Things is so pervasive.
Although there is no doubt that different industries will adapt to IoT at different rates, as with any business-changing trend, do you want to be behind or ahead of your competition?