Over the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of buzz around the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). This has lead to rapid adoption of connected devices across industries and is forecasted to pass the 11 billion mark by the end of the year.
According to the International Data Corporation, global spending on IoT is expected to reach $772 billion by the end of this year, an increase of 14.6% from 2017. This suggests that we’re well on our way to powering 20.4 billion connected devices by 2020.
All these “things” are now creating their own things, namely, lots and lots of data. This data will be at the core of commercial and industrial digital transformation (which is essentially the underlying force behind the fourth industrial revolution).
In other words, life as we know it is about to change forever! How is it going to change? Let’s take a look.
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Will Effectively Manage Oceans of Data
We can’t talk about IoT without AI as the latter has the power to make IoT a whole lot smarter and more efficient. In fact, experts believe that AI will be the brains behind IoT systems that will help make them run smoother.
For example, as more and more connected devices start communicating with each other, enterprises will need to leverage deep learning, image recognition, natural language processes, and neural-network driven decisions to help them understand each other (and us humans) better.
So far, we can say that IoT has felt like an isolated experience where it was just about simple data. Going forward, businesses will strive to achieve highly integrated experiences by using AI to better understand their employees, customers, and the general public living in smart cities.
2. Solve Complex Operational Challenges with Machine Learning (ML) and Advanced Analytics
To take manufacturing and operations to the next level, industrial companies will leverage ML and advanced analytics to improve production. However, achieving this will be a challenge as the infrastructure isn’t set up to easily integrate ML and other advanced analytical applications.
Some of these challenges include the following:
- Managing highly complex and engineered physical assets
- Making sense of multiple layers of equipment and instrumentation (accumulated over decades)
- Effectively managing varying levels of control systems
- Scattered ERP and data storage (often across numerous third-party vendors)
Such complexities have created a massive opportunity for startups to come in and bridge the gaps. For example, Arundo Analytics (started in 2015) helps large industrial entities (from oil and gas to shipping) automate end-to-end challenges by leveraging edge analytics to drive daily business decisions.
This is achieved by applying ML and advanced analytics to edge data inputs and integrating them into daily scalable operations throughout the organization. This also leads to the development of enterprise-grade software which is then managed by the platform.
Going forward, you can expect this to become the blueprint for all industrial enterprises. If they fail to embrace IoT, ML, and advanced analytics, they will lose their competitive edge and risk becoming irrelevant.
3. Transform Transactional Relationships into Value-Based Relationships
IoT is rapidly changing the way businesses, and their customers share information with each other. When this is conducted in a highly securely and transparently, it can have a significant impact on the way highly personalized services are delivered to customers.
For example, one industry that’s going to be highly disrupted by IoT is automotive insurance. This is because connected cars enable the seamless exchange of information between the driver and the insurance company.
This data can be used to better analyze pricing risks, and this can lead to significant cost savings for the policyholder and the insurer. So the days of car insurance premiums being dictated by the type of car, driving history, and residential addresses are numbered.
Soon, connected cars with IoT sensors will track the driver’s behavior and driving style to determine insurance premiums. We can already see this use case unfolding as Admiral Insurance recently partnered with Vodafone to provide underlying telematics services for Admiral LittleBox.
This blog post just touches on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s about to happen in the world of IoT. As more and more connected devices enter our workplaces, homes, and automobiles, security and privacy risks will grow exponentially.
As a result, it’s essential for the IoT revolution to also transform into a “connected cybersecurity revolution.” In other words, IoT without robust enhanced security could equal chaos and we just can’t let that happen.