The digital world and innovations in technology are growing at a tremendous rate, both in our business and home environments. One such area is the internet of things (IoT), which is a network of smart devices that are connected to the internet, so they can easily share data, enabling them to communicate with users and other devices.
Many people will recognise the range of smart devices that now exist in our homes to easily control our heating, energy usage and monitor security, which can be simply managed by a mobile app on your phone or tablet. Indeed, the convenience and benefits gained from connectivity will continue to attract more users in the future.
Research conducted by Gartner indicates the market for IoT devices is due to explode and will reach nearly 21 billion connected devices by 2020. Analysts predict that 63 per cent will be generated in the consumer market, however, although consumers buy more devices, businesses actually spend more due to their scale.
Research conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts worldwide spending on IoT will reach $772 billion in 2018. Many businesses are looking to invest in this area to gain a range of long-term benefits such as cost savings and increased productivity, as well as increased data connectivity across the business.
Data is key
Smart devices thrive on data. Whether it’s a smart refrigerator that helps you manage your groceries or a voice-controlled device to help with your diary appointments, they all collect and store data on your habits and routines. Cloud-based applications then interpret and transmit the data coming from all the devices. This data is then collated to aid a form of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, every smart device connected to the internet has the ability to learn the user’s preferences, develop trends and adapt. These technological advances will result in a huge increase in the use of AI in the future.
Many businesses are now recognising the potential future benefits of the IoT and AI. Research conducted by Gartner indicates that by 2020, more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of the IoT.
By integrating the IoT into their operations and processes companies achieve increased revenues, enhanced collaboration and efficiency improvements by identifying previously unknown trends and weaknesses in their operations. And the range of smart devices on offer means its very flexible, allowing businesses to use as little or as much as they like to suit their specific needs to gain maximum benefit.
However, as our use of technology grows, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure your data is secure. Unfortunately, cyber crime is on the increase, and both security and privacy are big challenges for IoT. Manufacturers must ensure that security is paramount when developing products, and users need to remain vigilant to prevent data breaches which could potentially undermine the benefits the IoT can deliver.
During recent years, the IoT and AI have seen a tremendous growth and this is set to continue. For many businesses the key challenge is to successfully identify and leverage the information and capabilities that IoT delivers to gain competitive advantage and maximise future business success.
Want to find out how how CTS can help your business improve with power of big data and machine learning? Speak to one of our experts on 0161 504 7052 today.