The Internet of Things: Is It Hype or Something More?
Many of us have heard the term “the internet of things” bandied about these days, whether it’s in articles in WIRED, the Atlantic, Forbes, or in other spots around the web. Even the best attempts at simplifying just what the internet of things (or IoT) is, though, tend to fall a bit short.
The best way we have to explain it is that the IoT is a term given to an emerging technology, one based around using cloud-connected devices to gather data from sensors that will be used for further analysis. Organization can use the data garnered through the IoT to make cost-saving decisions based around a more intelligent data-gathering base. How does this affect your business? Let’s take a deeper look.
The Internet of Things can be used by essentially any organization. Individual buildings, vehicles, or even entire cities are being outfitted with data-gathering IoT devices. These devices can be equipped with software, electronic components, sensors, and network connectivity, enabling them to collect and store data entirely in the cloud. Organizations are able to sense and control objects (and the resulting data) across an existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for direct integration of the physical world into cloud apps and services. In return, both enterprises and consumers can utilize the information gathered from IoT devices ot make more well-rounded decisions.
Frankly, the Internet of Things has rapidly become somewhat of a contentious topic in the IT world. Many startups and even well-established IT companies are excited at the prospect of a world controlled by the Internet of Things, while many others believe sincerely that the IoT is really just a lot of hype. They’re skeptical of Cisco’s prediction of there being 50 billion IoT devices in use by 2020.
This begs the question:
Is IoT Really Just a Bunch of Hype?
The two sides are roughly equally divided between those who believe the Internet of Things will truly be the tech revolution it promises to be and those who think it’s just another overhyped technology. Recent advancements in the IoT, however, suggest that the Internet of Things shouldn’t be underestimated.
With the power to potentially aid industries, enterprises, and even consumers to systematically make better and more-informed decisions based on the data generated by its sensors, it seems its usefulness will only grow. It’s still a concept largely in development, giving it quite a bit of room to grow from here. In fact, IoT appears to be one of the main components of the Smart Device Revolution. Spanning key markets like wearables, security monitoring, home environment control, and healthcare diagnostics (a great example of this being the popularity of the FitBit), the IoT is well-placed to become an integral aspect of everyone’s daily life.
Cisco’s prediction of 50 billion devices may not be as farfetched as it initially seemed, when the huge influx of these devices are taken into account.
Interoperability in the Internet of Things
However, before enthusiastically embracing the IoT, it’s important to take a step back to consider what it really is. The roots of this technology lie in embedded computing, and that means that even the simplest of devices require increased processing capability. Of course, IoT is more than just embedded processing combined with wireless IP connectivity. If it were just that, then it would merely create isolated islands of control or automation within different vertically integrated sectors like home security.
The true value of the Internet of Things can be realized when consumers and enterprises connect different devices, working autonomously, to one another. Even though interoperability isn’t happening globally yet, it is happening nonetheless. The biggest hurdle for the IoT is really the lack of standards that work across-the-board in a global marketplace. Some enterprises have achieved interoperability with the Internet of Things, however:
- Freescale, a US-embedded systems developer, recently developed a telehealth gateway that is available to all third-party app providers for coordination and data collection from every diagnostic device in a home.
- British Gas, an energy & utilities company, plans to offer IoT technology to help consumers monitor and control the efficiency of home appliances. Google’s Nest launched a developer program that could link intelligent thermostats to other IoT connected devices in your smart home.
IoT is rapidly embracing smart energy, home automation, consumer electronics and security monitoring. These advancements help bridge the gap in making consumer IoT a real possibility in the coming years.
Examining CompTIA’s Survey on IoT Deployments
An online survey was conducted by CompTIA back in 2014 when the phrase “Internet of Things” first became popular. Nearly 300 IT professionals in the USA took part in this survey which reveals the general thoughts and opinions of IT professionals on IoT. The survey queried small to medium sized enterprises as well as Fortune 500 companies. CompTIA’s report concluded, “Overall, IT industry executives are nearly evenly split on their view of IoT hype. Specifically, 51% of respondents believe IoT opportunities justify the hoopla, while 48% see more hype than substance at this point in time.”
Surprisingly enough, the survey also found that only 8% of IT executives indicated that they had explored the potential of IoT products in their enterprise. That small percentage will likely grow exponentially in the coming years, especially when you consider the fact that many tech forecasters are predicting that IoT could become a trillion dollar industry by year 2025.
Interested in What IoT Can Do For You? Give BACS A Call!
At BACS, we’ve made it our mission to stay at the forefront of new developments in technology and IT, familiarizing ourselves with new technology and how it can be used to help everything from small startups to large enterprises stay ahead of the game. We provide Managed IT, Security Services, Business Technology, and more to our clients located throughout the nation from our home base here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reach us by phone at (650) 887-4601 or contact us online at any time to schedule your IT consultation today!