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HOW IOT CHANGED OUR WORLD

The Internet of Things and digital platform economy are reshaping the structure of the mobile marketplace and have opened new revenue opportunities for businesses that have previously been focused on ‘making things’.

In Southern Kenya, conservationists have been able to track movements of lions by having collars around lions. The collar connects their movements to GPS and GSM systems thereby tracking their movements and helping protect the endangered population.

The phone combines the data from you and your friend’s calendar and by way of predictive analytics, it could determine the alternate route you might want to take. You get a notification from your smartphone suggesting you take a detour and stopping at your favourite store to buy the gift for your family member.

The Internet of Things and Machine2Machine communication will cross borders and go from solving local challenges to global ones. The end result is a connected service that gives its customers greater control over lighting remotely, and new insights on energy consumption, saving them money and energy.

Although IoT has been around for many years, with some evidence of it as early as 1832, it would have been unheard of by anyone other than high-level technology folk until recent years. According to Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), the IoT was born in-between 2008 and 2009 at simply the point in time when more “things or objects” were connected to the Internet than people.

Since then, innovation has shifted even further, moving beyond traditional connected devices to pretty much anything with a power supply. Nowadays, IoT is a widely used phrase that you’re likely to have heard or spoken about at some point or another.

IoT is not only connecting many previously unconnected “things” in enterprises, it is also causing IT and operational technology (OT) systems to merge. As a result, cybercriminals are increasingly focusing their efforts on sabotaging or commandeering devices and OT systems that control critical equipment and infrastructure. Cyber-attacks on industrial control systems increased 110 percent in 2016 and are sure to further increase as more systems become connected to the IoT.

Fortunately, 2018 will be the year when businesses and technology providers intensify their focus on IoT security. Organisations will also invest more in their workforces (in the form of education, training, certifications, etc.) to make them more capable of addressing IoT security concerns. Additionally, businesses will increasingly take a unified, policy-based architectural approach to IoT security by involving security and cyber teams from the start of an IoT deployment to implement a comprehensive strategy across the enterprise.

This popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed and other industries want a piece of the pie. Manufacturers have created their own version of IoT, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which is commonly used to monitor production processes and capture data for quality control and management.

While it’s clear that more companies are adopting IoT and IIoT competencies to service a competitive advantage, many are still unaware of how to harness the potential connected devices can offer not to mention concerns around security and data breaches. If we fail to make the most of the benefits the technology offers, there is a growing risk that traction will be halted.

Business benefits; almost all those using IoT solutions are experiencing, or expect to experience, significant advantages from the technologies. Improved service delivery capabilities, better health and safety, and greater workforce productivity are the top three benefits identified from the deployment of IoT-based solutions. IIoT, on the other hand, uses the technologies to provide businesses operating in the industrial space with real opportunity to leverage technology to drive growth, lower costs and develop new revenue streams. Enhanced predictive and preventative maintenance capabilities also mean IIoT platforms enable the more efficient use of energy, including consumption and data insights. After all, smart machines are more accurate and consistent when it comes to capturing and communicating data.

 

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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