The current state of play behind this industry buzz word?
The idea of the Internet of Things (IoT) for many started as one of those futuristic concepts that were deemed “cool to have.” Today, however, this concept is going from being a myriad of concepts and ideas to a series of disruptive innovations and technological breakthroughs in every sector, including very sensitively controlled ones like the Financial and Medical sectors.
For the very few people out there that still have not bothered to read an article on IoT; IoT is the idea of extending the functionality of the internet’s connectivity to physical devices and everyday objects. It involves the embedding of electronics, internet capable devices, and other forms of hardware with IoT software to enable them to communicate over the internet. What this essentially means is remote access and control of hardware and physical devices.
Now that I got that out of the way, let’s move on to talk about the current state of things.
The world is still Reluctant
Even with the widespread adoption of cloud-based services, AI assistants and other tech-oriented changes by lots of household and businesses. IoT is still at a point where many businesses say they want it but rather than for implementation, many of them are still at the design and consideration stage. Recent studies have shown that only 40% of businesses have full confidence in the ability of their business to fully adopt an entirely connected infrastructure, for business management, and daily operation.
Another discovery is the extent to which IoT concepts are actively changing businesses methods of operation, service delivery, and production. It is believed that even though there are initiatives on how to change business processes with IoT, very few of them are being adopted into active business operations. As most companies are not confident that their business model would thrive well on IoT.
Much of this hesitation to adopt IoT by many households and businesses stem from security concerns. In recent times, there have been lots of scandals and revelations concerning the amount of data companies gather from consumers of their software. There is a concern for how much of our lives will be exposed to software companies if we choose to allow everything in our lives to be controlled via the internet.
There is also the problem of hacking, even with great strides made in the cyber security sector. It is clear that with IoT, hackers could do a lot more damage if they ever penetrate an active system of connected physical devices. Data isn’t the only thing that would be affected; real damage could be done to physical properties and lives.
Our reality and the Internet are becoming one
Even with the fear of functionality and security on the adoption of IoT, many IoT initiatives are already impacting lives on a large scale. Rather than making general IoT platforms, IoT platforms with prioritization are getting significantly better. Four of the major leading Vendors of IoT platforms are Microsoft’s Azure IoT Suite, GE’s Predix, Thingworx, and IBM’s Watson. All of these vendors have achieved advanced functionality and robust ability to partner with a wide array of ecosystems.
Some of the other aspects of IoT you don’t have to go too far to observe are smart cars, and intelligent building systems used to control lighting, ventilation, HVAC systems, and even security. Environmental monitoring of the quality of water is now a thing, and the atmospheric and soil conditions of an area can now be monitored and controlled remotely. In the health sector, there are instances of smart beds being deployed, as well as heart and health monitoring devices and services being made available to the general public.
All of this goes on to show how integrated and connected our lives are bound to be in the future, and IoT seems to be seated right in the middle of things. If Robotics and AI were the next big thing, imagine the implication when they become integrated with IoT. I tell you what it would be like; fascinating, and maybe even scary to many.