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The Internet of Things: Success or bust?

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On reflection, IoT will perhaps fade into the realms of normality. It could, in fact, disappear altogether as the interconnected state between humans and machines becomes commonplace

The Internet of Things is beginning to transform how a range of industries operate. The increasing volume of data flowing through these internet-connected devices is growing every day, influencing decisions and optimising processes. But how far can the IoT really go?

 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most talked about and impactful emerging technology trends that is redefining both business and society. There are three broad areas of IoT investment: consumer, industrial and enterprise. The last of these is being implemented on a smaller scale for the time being compared with the others, which are in a more mature state.

 In these spheres, the IoT – a growing network of internet-connected devices that collects an incredible amount of data – is helping organisations glean greater insights, drive more efficient processes and transform the relationship between the consumer and the enterprise (and the collaboration between internal departments).

The explosion of data being generated and connected through IoT devices, anything from industrial machines to smart fridges, is leading organisations into a period of necessary innovation. The more devices there are, and the more data that is collated effectively via analytics, the more effective and transformative this innovation will be.

‘IoT helps to expand an organisation’s footprint to anywhere it can collect data from a device or thing, and leverage the data interactions anywhere a user, device, thing or application can pass information to each other,’ explains Colin Pittham, VP of EMEA at ExtraHop.

The rise of IoT will result in a hyper-connected state, although it will only be as good as the infrastructure supporting it.

This hyper-connectivity will allow organisations to break new frontiers in anything from customer experience to digital transformation efforts in the enterprise.

Enterprise IoT

In terms of stages, enterprise IoT is at the earliest juncture. Consumer IoT and industrial IoT have been driven out of necessity in an increasingly disrupted world. Indeed, David Vasquez, IoT evangelist at Verizon, says, ‘The consumer IoT revolution is​ already developing as people become more interested in their lifestyles and the impact this has on their health and the world around them. ​For example, smart devices ​can​ monitor heart rate and steps, which is empowering them to make better ​health-related ​decisions.’

The IoT in the enterprise has been more of a slow burner, rolled out on a smaller scale within departments.

The ambition of organisations leveraging IoT as a strategy is to significantly improve business processes and to get better actionable insights on their customers, their employees and different ways of driving up revenue.

‘Enterprise IoT,’ says Pittham, ‘is where you are seeing a lot of smaller-scale exploration and investment, happening, often at a departmental level, focused on improving how the business operates or solving issues with current business workflows.’

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