The Internet of Things (IoT) can be a confusing concept to fully comprehend, as the term applies to a variety of different elements. A study by Dresner Advisory Services defines the IoT as“the network of physical objects, or ‘things,’ embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity to enable objects to collect and exchange data.”
IoT encompasses not only devices and connectivity, but also analytics, superior engagement, monitoring and — arguably most importantly for 2018 — sophisticated security to prevent data leaks.The business impact of IoT, however, is reshaping how businesses are run and organized. IoT is becoming far more mainstream than experimental in 2018, due to the analytics it can derive and the achievable business outcomes.
Yes, 2018 promises great things for IoT and potential business outcomes in “design,” “operate” and “consume,” so let’s take a look at some of the most imminent.
More Devices Than Ever
A report by Business Insider suggests companies will invest almost $6 trillion on IoT solutions over the next half-decade. The explosion of IoT devices has already started. More and more customers internationally are buying smartphones, tablets and other gadgets which connect not only to the web, but also to each other. Demand is growing, and companies are willing to provide these low-power networked devices.
Greater Access to Startup Capital
IoT is no longer a concept — there’s a massive demand for it. Naturally, investors are aware of this and are getting funding together. In 2018, it’s predicted that IoT projects will have far more funding at their disposal: according to one survey, 19 percent of businesses are already using IoT, but 28 percent are planning to adopt it in the near future. The funding for IoT mixed with local funding given to startups will provide startups even more playing field with bigger corporations.
New Security Challenges
We all know that globalization and theInternet have opened borders and encouraged the free exchange of information. The downside of this connectivity is an increased vulnerability to security breaches. For example, in October 2016, hackers used IoT to carry out a major attack that crippled a large part of the Internet.
A Revolutionized Retail Industry
Retail could stand to benefit hugely from IoT, as the increase in sensors and the data derived from them will allow the industry to more effectively market goods and services to potential customers. Retailers can use sensors to monitor stores, prevent theft and accurately track their inventory.
Health Care Renewed
As patients move toward big-data-driven solutions for healthcare needs, IoT will also change how people interact with, gain access to and settle up medical or healthcare services. As wearable tech becomes increasingly prevalent in 2018 and beyond, networked devices will also be able to remind patients when to take meds, exercise, check out anomalies in readings from a monitor, etc.
IoT is going to explode in 2018, and both customers and companies stand to gain considerable benefits. While there is the obvious concern of security, given increased connectivity, the technology has tremendous potential to help companies save money and boost revenue through more effective marketing campaigns, accurate inventory taking and intelligent harvesting of useful information from big data.
Bio: Nathan Sykes is atechie, foodie, beer guy and blogger from Pittsburgh, PA. He is the owner and editor of Finding an Outlet, and has been published on Business Computing World, IT Chronicles, and Bootstrap Business among others.