The magnitude of the Internet of Things
In recent years, there has been rapid development in IoT solutions being deployed to advance business intelligence. Through this technology, devices such as smartphones, tablets, refrigerators, TVs and thermostats can share data freely among themselves via the Internet and offer customers greater control over their surroundings.
The IoT can help to create opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and the technical systems, resulting in better productivity and precision leading to economic benefit. For 2015, Cisco (worldwide leader in IT) predicted that there would be 25 billion connected devices, and that this number will double going towards 2020. So far, investments in IoT have mainly been done in the IT and telecoms industry, which can be seen as a natural consequence of the amount of generated data and application capabilities for mobile devices. However, the application is increasingly spreading to several other industries as well.
This trend may revolutionize industries by allowing companies to engage with customers in a new way, improve their value propositions and build new revenue streams. Take for example the medical healthcare systems. IoT devices can be used to enable remote health monitoring and emergency notifications systems. Patients with heart problems or blood pressure that need to be monitored can monitor this with specialized implants such as a peacemaker. These devices are becoming increasingly popular for chronic patients, helping one to manage vitals and medication routines. By using this kind of technology, the doctor can monitor their patients via their smartphones, and the patient can be discharged faster with fewer check-ups.
Another example is energy management. In todays society there is an increasing focus on the need to be sustainable in how we threat the environment. One way of behaving this way is to manage our energy consumption. Through IoT one can utilize the sensing and activation systems connected to the Internet to optimize the usage. Over time, it is likely that IoT will be integrated into all consuming devices, such as switches, light-bulbs, television and so on. By integrating such devices into the IoT, consumers can control all devices from distance, and it would enable scheduling (for example turning off heat/light is given times of the day), changing lighting conditions and so on.
A third example of how IoT may revolutionize an industry is in manufacturing. IoT systems may enable rapid manufacturing of new products, dynamic response to product demands, and real-time optimization of manufacturing production and supply chain networks, by network machinery, sensors and control systems together. Through IoT it is possible to automate process controls, and to optimize plant safety and security through operator tools and service information systems. However, IoT is also becoming an increasingly important managerial tool for assets management, by giving information about predictive maintenance and measurements to maximize reliability.
The above-mentioned examples were just some of the industries that now are starting to see the benefits of IoT. Based on the technology of IoT, Cisco gives predictions that industries will look completely different than from today. Like in the early days of the Internet, IoT is a undeveloped market. New companies with new business models, approaches and solutions will appear. Furthermore, Cisco predicts that IoT will force businesses to transformation. Like with the wave of the Internet, companies need to adapt and develop strategies and plans for how they can leverage IoT to transform all aspects of their business. This will enable them to capture the value of the technology. Lastly, Cisco predict that IoT will cease to exist. The Internet has grown from being new and mysterious, to be as normal part of consumers life as electricity. The same will be for IoT. In not distant future, it will be difficult to imagine that all things were not connected and that the benefits brought by IoT were not always present.