Digital Themes

Internet of Things

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated devices that are connected to the internet and able to pull and transmit data across a wireless network. Utilizing data from billions of devices, the IoT network brings the cloud computing power of the internet, data processing, and analytics to the real world, allowing interaction with the global information network without needing a screen or a keyboard. Examples of IoT applications include smart home speakers, such as Google Home or Amazon's Alexa, and video doorbells. Using Wi-Fi, many everyday appliances contain IoT sensors and can be collecting data, transferring data, and taking instruction from the IoT network with little to no human interaction.

IoT devices can be used to monitor and control mechanical, electrical, and security systems in public buildings, industrial parks, smart homes, or even a smart city. IoT data, combined with machine learning and automation software, can be shared and controlled across several disparate IoT systems. Businesses utilize IoT to process large amounts of data constantly coming in from various devices and their sensors, adapting to the analytics and responding in real-time. Because of this, IoT security is crucial.

This age of digital transformation has brought innovative technological advancements and previously impossible capabilities, but it also comes with a large amount of security risk. Cyber attacks at this level are catastrophic. When securing IoT devices, attention must be paid to not only industrial machines, building automation, and energy grids, but also any personal IoT devices, such as smartwatches, that employees bring to work. Without effective IoT security, any connected appliance or device can be hacked, affecting appliance or device functionality, as well as accessing and stealing corporate or user digital data. IoT security involves end-to-end encryption, device and appliance monitoring, and extensive authentication steps.

What are the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) to businesses?

  • Productivity and efficiency - Profitability depends on productivity and efficiency, and IoT devices can help with both. Solutions including automation, tracking, and real-time analytics allow companies to collect machine data, predict technical interruptions and overages, and enable remote servicing and repairs.

  • Consumer behavior - With IoT systems, businesses can collect, monitor, and analyze data from social media, video surveillance, and internet usage, empowering analysts to anticipate trends and preferences. With this information, companies can design and create appropriate products and personalized services, ensuring a more engaging customer experience and creating brand-loyal customers.

  • Lower operating costs - Businesses cut costs and stay competitive by using IoT devices to monitor equipment and predict machine failures or production inconsistencies. Companies can also improve their electrical efficiency and ecological sustainability, saving on energy costs with IoT and smart building systems auditing and adjusting for superfluous usage of electrical systems.

  • Workplace safety - IoT devices, such as wearables, can help ensure worker safety and workplace security. High-risk workplaces, such as industrial manufacturing shops and construction sites can be monitored around the clock and immediately alerted to falls and accidents. Other IoT solutions for workplace security include video surveillance and smart locks.
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