The Internet of Things: The Next Revolution Has Arrived

What do cars, traffic lights, phones, watches, coffee machines, printers, and TVs have in common? They are all objects increasingly connected to the internet and could potentially communicate with each other. It allows them to get updates, collect, or utilize data like never before, and communicate on a “machine-to-machine” basis. This so-called Internet of Things (IoT) is not limited to only every day wireless items. IoT is also used in manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, energy, education – the list only keeps growing. IoT is clearly the next big thing in technology. What impact does it have on businesses and our every-day life?

New Trend In Technology

The Internet of Things is expected to change the way we live and work. Rapidly increasing numbers of businesses are seeing the advantages of using the data from IoT technology. Last year there were 2.4 billion of connected devices used by businesses; this year there are 3.1 billion. In the next 3 years these devices are expected to more than double, even though some companies and industries are slow to use new technologies. Overall, there are expected to be 26.3 billion devices to be connected by 2020 all around the world.

It is not only robotics that can increase the productivity in many industries. IoT, through data connectivity, can be the new way to achieve this goal. Currently, new technologies and most of IoT projects are predominately used in the industrial sectors. A good example of the use of IoT and advanced technology is in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor railway system which is designed to predict and prevent delays, can predict and understand why equipment failures occur. In 2016, these technologies decreased the delays by 33% because they were able to notice a problem before it even occurred.

Traditional vs. Start-up Companies

Many big “traditional” companies will face fierce competition from small IT groups or start-ups. For example, in order to catch this technology trend, cybersecurity firm Trend Micro decided to invest $100 million earlier this week in a startup fund with focus on IoT. This initiative will explore new ideas, innovations and fast growing markets. At Trend Micro they believe “the next wave has arrived with IoT; our fund will help us harness this opportunity.” AT&T and Cisco have also announced this week they will build on Cisco’s Jasper IoT platform. Their new services should enable businesses to better manage their connected devices. They are, like many other companies, facing the “challenge of analyzing more data as companies deploy more devices.”

Challenges

The IoT will offer endless opportunities for companies but also for job seekers, creating new products, markets and services. To build on this trend, FIU (Florida International University) will start offering first IoT bachelor’s degree in the US in Spring 2018. However, the IoT, as many other new technologies, faces many challenges. A major hurdle is the integration of IoT into the businesses – 46 % of companies list this as their biggest issue, according to the Business Insider Global IoT Executive Survey. Other difficulties they face include data sharing and security, marketing issues, connectivity, storage of the data, data analytics, and the resources to pay for all of this.

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