In recent years the internet of things has grown exponentially. This has made a huge impact on the way businesses are run around the world. But what is IoT? And how does it work?
What is IoT?
In simple terms, IoT is a network of connected devices. In a business environment the purpose of these devices is to make processes more efficient and accurate. IoT also powers Machine to Machine communications (M2M). M2M is the process in which two or more devices (otherwise known as machines) traverse data between them.
An article on the Forbes website in 2014 stated, “anything that can be connected, will be connected”; this general rule has definitely taken off in the last couple of years. Forbes also posed the question; would this be useful? Do we really want all of our devices talking to each other; where’s the benefit? Moving on 3 years to 2017, we can safely state that the benefits of IoT are endless.
Examples of IoT
A couple of the examples in the article beautifully outline how connecting your devices can make your day to day life so much simpler. These examples will stop you from having to ask the question, ‘what is IoT?’.
‘”What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you?
What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more?”
Sounds simple right? Well it can be. However like anything in the world of technology it can also be very complex.
Another fantastic example of how IoT is expanding was displayed at Apple’s WWDC 17 event on June 5 2017 with the introduction of the HomePod. Apple is diving deeper into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is also powered by the IoT. By connecting a speaker to the internet and equipping it with an intelligent assistant, a smart device is born.
Although the HomePod is aimed at the consumer market, it explains the concept of IoT perfectly; a standard device (a speaker) becomes more useful when we connect it to the internet.
IoT is able to link together an extraordinary amount of machines or “Things”, allowing them to share data with each other. IoT has the capability to have a positive impact on every industry. From farming to fleet management, having your devices connected can save time and increase productivity.
Is IoT safe?
The main concern that arises when we talk about IoT is security and privacy. It’s understandable that people have their worries that if everything’s connected we no longer control our own lives. That being said, technology is now at a point where providers can deliver a fully secure connection. This means both your devices and data are fully protected.
Many businesses are already utilising IoT to improve the way they operate and track how well they are currently performing. So far, there have been no notable cases of businesses suffering from a security point of view.
As we move forward, the question ‘what is IoT?’ will soon become ‘how can my business benefit from IoT’.