The era of the Internet of Things: How will IoT transform the business world

IoT impact on business

In our fast-growing world of technology and innovation the competition is so high as it has never been before. In these terms, companies have to focus on maintaining their performance and striving for the best business results.

Today the Internet of Things has a great impact on the business environment, transforming a variety of life spheres and business industries. Workflow automation, real-time data, improved healthcare, home automation, road traffic optimization, improved decision-making, — is a small insight into possible IoT benefits.

Though businesses have to deal with large data amounts, collected by IoT devices, they receive the true value, when the software and services come together to ensure the capture, analysis, and interpretation of data produced by IoT endpoints.

Understanding IoT potential, companies and corporations make huge investments in this technology:

  • According to IDC, by 2020 global IoT spending will reach $1.29 trillion.
  • Experts say that by 2021, global IoT spending will reach nearly $1.4 trillion.

IoT in different industries

1. Manufacturing

At the moment, manufacturing industry continues to be a major investor in the Internet of Things. In 2016 the number was $178 billion and this year it is expected to reach $183 billion. What’s more, 66% of domain-related companies say that now the adoption of IoT solutions is a must-have for staying competitive.

Considering manufacturing as the industrial production, we see the process of various interconnected stages required to be monitored, optimized, and automated. By bringing intelligent connection, manufacturers successfully solve these and other challenges.

The main IoT use cases in manufacturing include:

  • Production flow monitoring, which results in flow optimization, waste elimination, and the minimization of unnecessary work in process inventory.
  • Remote equipment monitoring and management, allowing to track and maintain equipment performance, save energy, and reduce costs.
  • Condition-based maintenance notifications, helping optimize machine availability and increase throughput.
  • Supply chains, where IoT solutions help track vehicles and assets, improve the efficiency of manufacturing and supply chain operations.

Since the Internet of Things helps ensure that devices and processes are connected, machines work together, human participation is minimized, and the entire process is effectively managed, 40% of the manufacturers believe that now is the right time to invest in IoT.

2. Logistics & Transportation

Speed and timing are the top-priority challenges for logistics and transportation. Coming up with intelligent connections, the Internet of Things provides the automation and optimization of all domain-based processes.

Since logistics and transportation comprises a plenty of IoT use cases, the main applications are about freight monitoring, location tracking, and inventory tracking.

The example can be an IoT solution that notifies about truck/car defects, breakdowns, and location and tracks freights’ delivery status. Once a truck comes to a place, the app alerts the end user/company.

For today, transportation is the second largest industry from a spending point of view. While in 2016 the spending amount was $78 billion, by the end of 2017 it is expected to reach $85 billion.

3. Utilities

For utility companies, the challenge isn’t just to optimize and accelerate existing business operations, but also to find and implement new business models, transforming the entire industry.

In utilities, IoT comes up with new revenue models, business process and communication automations, and various chain improvements. The main utilities IoT applications comprise smart grid technologies for electricity, gas and water.

At the moment, utilities industry continues to be the third important investor in the Internet of Things, with $69 billion in 2016.

4. Healthcare

Concerning quality of life, healthcare is the top-priority industry for IoT integration. With IoT technology, represented by various tracking systems and real-time health systems (RTHS), it becomes possible to improve patient treatment, diagnosis, patient and equipment maintenance, and remote operation and control.

Imagine the world of fully connected healthcare: wearables, smart pills, smart beds, connected equipment, patients, healthcare providers, all of it resulting in successful decisions, right actions, smart treatment, and patient satisfaction.

According to Aruba Networks research devoted to IoT applications, today healthcare organizations primarily use IoT solutions for patient monitoring and maintenance (73%) and remote operation and control (50%).

Explore a wide range of IoT use cases and find interesting facts and statistics in the post “The Internet of Things in healthcare: Why start implementing now?

5. Agriculture

The Internet of Things has great potential to fully innovate agriculture industry too. By using IoT technology, farmers collect and analyze data, turning it into actionable information, faster decisions, and certain actions.

Imagine thousands of interconnected machines: multiple sensors track their performance, instantly alert farmers if something is wrong or needs replacement, and transmit crop data to the main center. So, IoT can take machine monitoring, support, and health maintenance to the next level.

6. Automotive

The automotive domain was among the pioneers in the adoption of IoT technology. Today, the Internet of Things continues to transform and innovate the industry, bringing intelligent connections and wild new tech ideas.

At the moment, smart cars take the major part of the automotive market. As BI Intelligence experts predict, by 2020 there will be 381 million IoT connected cars in use (comparing to 36 million in 2015) and 94 million to ship in 2021.

What’s more, the Internet of Things offers other powerful capabilities too. Probably, the best example is a self-driving car by Google. So, now we see a fast evolution of vehicles, that soon will be all high-technological solutions.

IoT security issues

Though the Internet of Things provides businesses with multiple powerful capabilities and is going to come up with revolution in different spheres, there remain security risks and vulnerabilities.

Since IoT devices awe web-enabled and connect to the Internet, the establishment of strong safeguards becomes the highest concern.

For example, DDoS attacks can damage organizations, leading to significant losses and poor business results. There are two most popular types of DDoS attacks:

  • Traffic attacks, which are generally operated by injecting Trojans and malware. The target is flooded with the large amounts of spam, so the real requests are lost.
  • Bandwidth attacks, that overburden the target with TERAbytes or PETAbytes of garbage data, leading to loss of system data transmissions, server crashes, and even complete shutdowns.

For business it means the necessity in new security mechanisms and thoughtful testing practices enabling to remove possible risks. Since IoT devices deal with huge data volumes, companies should focus on data traffic monitoring.

Imagine, for example, a cloud IoT solution, that would monitor inbound and outbound traffic, identify suspicious activities and malicious code, track all interactions, block unsafe communications, provide communication permissions, and prevent data leaks.

So, it’s really possible to minimize vulnerabilities. One of the most common and probably best tips for building a successful IoT project is to apply to a reliable software development provider that would focus on establishing strong safeguards and preventing any risks.

At the moment, the Internet of Things is quickly growing, bringing evolutions and innovations. For today, IoT investments are about $800 billion and are expected to reach $1.4 trillion in 2021. What’s more, by 2020 there will be between 20 and 30 billion connected devices worldwide.