Internet Of Things

One of the most dynamic and exciting developments in information and communications technology is the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT). Although networking technologies have become increasingly ubiquitous over the past two decades, until recently they have largely been restricted to connecting traditional end-user devices, such as mainframes, desktop and laptop computers, and, more recently, smartphones and tablets.

Recent years have witnessed the attachment of a much broader range of devices to the network. These have included vehicles, household appliances, medical devices, electric meters and controls, street lights, traffic controls, smart TVs and digital assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Industry analysts estimate that there are currently more than eight billion such devices connected to the network and project that this number will expand to more than 25 billion by 2020. The increasing deployment of these devices has enabled new use cases for network technologies. Some experts project that the IoT may generate as much as US$13 trillion in revenue by 2025.

Unlike traditional cyber systems, which connect general-purpose computers, IoT systems often link together highly specialized devices designed for specific purposes with only a limited degree of programmability and customizability.

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Industry analysts estimate that there are currently more than eight billion such devices connected to the network and project that this number will expand to more than 25 billion by 2020.

In addition, IoT systems often store and process data in a distributed manner, in contrast to the highly centralized approach of consolidating storage and computing power in large data centres. In addition, IoT systems are sometimes called cyber-physical systems, because unlike purely cyber systems, they also include sensors that collect data from the physical world.

IoT lifecycle

IoT can also make use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to aid in making data collecting processes easier and more dynamic.

How IoT Works?

An IoT ecosystem consists of web-enabled smart devices that use embedded systems, such as processors, sensors and communication hardware, to collect, send and act on data they acquire from their environments. IoT devices share the sensor data they collect by connecting to an IoT gateway or other edge device where data is either sent to the cloud to be analyzed or analyzed locally. Sometimes, these devices communicate with other related devices and act on the information they get from one another. The devices do most of the work without human intervention, although people can interact with the devices — for instance, to set them up, give them instructions or access the data.

The connectivity, networking and communication protocols used with these web-enabled devices largely depend on the specific IoT applications deployed.

Why IoT is important?

The internet of things helps people live and work smarter, as well as gain complete control over their lives. In addition to offering smart devices to automate homes, IoT is essential to business. IoT provides businesses with a real-time look into how their systems really work, delivering insights into everything from the performance of machines to supply chain and logistics operations.

IoT enables companies to automate processes and reduce labor costs. It also cuts down on waste and improves service delivery, making it less expensive to manufacture and deliver goods, as well as offering transparency into customer transactions.

As such, IoT is one of the most important technologies of everyday life, and it will continue to pick up steam as more businesses realize the potential of connected devices to keep them competitive.

IoT Benefits to Organizations

The internet of things offers several benefits to organizations. Some benefits are industry-specific, and some are applicable across multiple industries. Some of the common benefits of IoT enable businesses to:

  • monitor their overall business processes;
  • improve the customer experience (CX);
  • save time and money;
  • enhance employee productivity;
  • integrate and adapt business models;
  • make better business decisions; and
  • generate more revenue.

IoT encourages companies to rethink the ways they approach their businesses and gives them the tools to improve their business strategies.

Generally, IoT is most abundant in manufacturing, transportation and utility organizations, making use of sensors and other IoT devices; however, it has also found use cases for organizations within the agriculture, infrastructure and home automation industries, leading some organizations toward digital transformation.

IoT can benefit farmers in agriculture by making their job easier. Sensors can collect data on rainfall, humidity, temperature and soil content, as well as other factors, that would help automate farming techniques.

The ability to monitor operations surrounding infrastructure is also a factor that IoT can help with. Sensors, for example, could be used to monitor events or changes within structural buildings, bridges and other infrastructure. This brings benefits with it, such as cost saving, saved time, quality-of-life workflow changes and paperless workflow.

A home automation business can utilize IoT to monitor and manipulate mechanical and electrical systems in a building. On a broader scale, smart cities can help citizens reduce waste and energy consumption.

IoT touches every industry, including businesses within healthcare, finance, retail and manufacturing.