With over 4 billion internet users globally, more devices are connected to the internet than ever before. The average person uses a variety of devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers throughout their daily life. Although internet users benefit greatly from using a variety of devices, businesses can benefit even more by using IoT. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the billions of devices that are connected through the internet. With all these devices connected to the internet, businesses have more data than ever on how to service their customers. The rise of IoT provides several major opportunities and challenges for modern enterprises.
Business intelligence: IoT provides businesses unprecedented access and analytics about how customers use their products. With IoT, businesses can connect their physical devices to the internet to provide more features for their customers. For example, appliance manufacturers are connecting their products like refrigerators to the internet. This allows customers to control these devices from their phone and businesses can get analytics into how customers use their products to improve their R&D operations.
Connectivity: A large opportunity in IoT is the potential for connectivity between smart devices. Since smart devices are connected to the internet, they can communicate, and this opens up many new features for users. Devices that are nearby that are connected via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or a similar connection can share data and perform a variety of functions. An example of this is smartphones and smart TVs. With both devices connected to the same network or Bluetooth, you can screen share anything you see on a smartphone on your TV.
Automation: there are several IoT features that enable enterprises to automate their operations. Manufacturing is often one of the largest expenses and cost centers for corporations. IoT is revolutionizing manufacturing with the use of sensors and other technology that enable machines to communicate. With each part of manufacturing connected to the internet, many processes within manufacturing can be completely automated. This results in self-organized, scalable, and automated manufacturing for corporations.
Privacy: Privacy is a large concern for most consumers when it comes to IoT. Although the added convenience of smart devices is helpful, many consumers are weary of having all of their physical products connected to the internet. The data gathered by these devices can be sensitive and many consumers are not comfortable with the data being collected and used by companies. Consumers need to know what data is being collected and all the use cases for their data.
Security: The largest challenge for IoT is security. Each new connected device to the internet creates another endpoint for hackers and bad actors to target. Instead of compromising enterprise devices and networks, hackers can target devices in people’s homes and gain unprecedented access to consumers. If hackers are able to penetrate a single IoT device, they can spread malware and impact many other devices and networks. Since IoT is still in its relative infancy, security practices and standards are still subpar for how invasive the technology is.