The Internet of Things. 4 pitfalls to watch out for
Jan 30, 2015
Over the past few weeks, we have taken a look at the Internet of Things (IoT), what it is and what its' likely future effects are going to be. There can be no doubt it’s already a reality and the potential difference it’s going to make to our work and home lives is significant.
However the IoT is still in development, albeit at a rapid pace, and issues and challenges remain. To provide a balanced overview it is important to take a look at these and what companies need to be aware of as they enter this new world.
- Data and information management. The IoT will generate huge volumes of data and routing, capturing, analysing and using the insights in a timely and relevant way is a huge challenge with traditional infrastructures. This magnitude of collected data will require sophisticated algorithms that enable the sifting, analysing and data value to be extracted. As more devices come to the market more data centres are formed, creating a complex network of connections between disparate data sources. The lack of standards and protocols discussed earlier makes it even more difficult for companies to eliminate isolated repositories of fixed data that the IoT generates.
- A lack of standards and linked technologies. Because of the huge number of vendors, technologies and protocols used by each type of smart device restricts connectivity. This lack of consensus on how to apply emerging standards and protocols to allow smart devices to connect and collaborate means it is very difficult for companies to integrate devices and applications that use different network technologies, operating on different networks. In addition, businesses need to ensure there smart devices can interact and work with multiple services.
- Privacy and security. The real value to be extracted from the IoT is dependent on a company’s ability to collect, manage and mine data. Therefore, a key concern will be the ability to secure such data from unauthorised use and external attack. As importantly, with many IoT devices being used for personal use and activities, many users may be unaware of the types of personally identifiable information being collected, raising serious privacy concerns. In addition, because many of the devices involve minimal human interaction, businesses need to have a high level of awareness about hacking and other criminal abuse. Potentially the largest risk for the future is either a security breach or malfunctioning device that causes a catastrophic failure of the whole IoT infrastructure.
- Inability to manage the IoT. To unlock the value that the IoT offers will require a whole new level of systems and capabilities. For example, making sense of the flood of data being generated by sensors every millisecond will necessitate strong data management, storage and analytics capabilities. In a similar vein, policy makers will need to address data, security and privacy concerns. Organisations will also need to develop new skills to anticipate potential component failures and replacements using preventative servicing and maintenance practices. This will help ensure that business operations run effectively and efficiently.
By understanding and managing the rich data sources that the IoT will generate, leading businesses will establish new levels of performance and deliver a highly personalised customer experience, product or service.
product or service, at higher levels of efficiency. Companies and organisations can only expect to experience faster transformation and disruption to their traditional business models, given the rate at which digital technologies, devices, connectivity and networks are evolving.
Clearly, the winners will be those businesses that integrate and exploit the IoT data seams into their structure enabling them to compete with new entrants into their markets and maintain business growth.
We hope you have enjoyed this series of articles about the IoT and that it has provided useful information and insight. Keep checking back with us as we continue to look at other subjects and topics.