By Manoj Kumar Pansari
The year 2018 has been an exciting year in the Internet of Things (IoT) space as we have seen an amazing transformation and many exciting developments. We have observed that several industries are investing in IoT now and that leading industries are quickly implementing IoT solutions. Other than special IoT devices, products like wearable and connected electronics are a part of this vast market.
Many big companies are hiring IoT developers and creating self-learning environment using IoT. This will also drive digital revolution in the physical world as well. With IoT, new business models will emerge and there will be significant changes in work processes, productivity front, cost reduction and improved customer experiences.
IoT is the driver behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and businesses have much to gain now and in the near future from it. IoT can provide businesses with real-time control over business processes, predictive maintenance capabilities, improve customer service, increase employee productivity, and gain unprecedented levels of insight to make better business decisions. No industry will go untouched by digital transformation. As these technologies continue to evolve, businesses should identify the opportunities they can provide, and capitalize on their potential in order to stay in the game. The next many years might mean the thought adoption of IoT.
Tighter industry regulations
Every exciting technology is received with so much fanfare and the IoT is no exception. The low regulation levels that are so commonly related to the technology sector means, it is easy to emphasize nearly solely on innovation. However, the IoT segment has experienced a number of concerns. In 2019, regulatory and legislature entities are likely to propose and enforce strict and comprehensive regulations. In particular, users and vendors should be careful about regulations pertaining to the collection, retention, and security of user data. However, storing sensitive user data is likely to be strictly regulated due to the perceived state of poor security. The perceived positive or negative outcome of the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) is likely to have an impact on how regulations will affect the Internet of Things in the times to come.
In 2019, Blockchain will play a major role as it enhances security, makes transactions more seamless and reliable and creates efficiencies in the supply chain management. It looks like within few years we will see firms to start leveraging blockchain in three ways i.e. building trust, reducing costs and accelerating transactions. Blockchain for IoT can reshape the approach, business transactions are conducted globally by providing a secure and trustworthy environment. Blockchain Solutions transactions are automated and encoded and enterprise level privacy is maintained while security is provided for all the parties involved. With implementation of IoT in blockchain, information from IoT devices will be used in transactions. These blockchain based solutions facilitate organizations in improving operational efficiency as well, transform customer experience and adopt new business models. All of this is done in secure, private and decentralized manner.
Software as a service
In coming years, we will see more companies choose the SaaS approach to quickly create and prove out a variety of IoT scenarios at lower investment levels. With its immediate availability and a cost-effectiveness (pay-as-you-go model), SaaS enables enterprises to scale the infrastructure up and down, depending on their needs, without setting up additional hardware and infrastructure, resulting in more flexible and scalable operations with dramatically reduced deployment times. Enterprises also have the ability to integrate most of SaaS applications with other software using application programming interfaces (APIs).
Enterprises are more likely than ever to emphasize heavily on security as the already low-priced IoT devices are expected to become even more affordable. Last year, a lot of high-profile data breaches happened and that exposed security risks of the IoT devices. Today, it is becoming clearer and more critical for companies to emphasize upon security. It is widely expected that improved software patching will become the all-important component of IoT offerings throughout this year and the future.
Cognitive computing and AI
Cognitive computing and implementation of AI technology will be the key trends in 2019. The IoT is right now at the critical juncture of tremendous growth and opportunity. Till now we have seen connected things with unique IP addresses but due to advancement in sensors, processors and memory now we are not seeing everyday things just connected but intelligent too. Cognitive IoT, AI and machine learning are enabling enterprises to unlock the IoT value. Cognitive systems are not explicitly programmed but they learn from interactions with the people and from experiences with their environment. Hence they are able to keep pace with the complexity of IoT and identifying data correlations which otherwise was not possible.
The significance of data remains ever-present
The combination of analytics grounded in Big Data and IoT technologies is becoming an important part of the businesses’ decision-making processes. By bringing together an array of connected systems, IoT technology produces a stream of fresh data that can be accessed on the fly. A large amount of this data is unstructured information, pulled directly from connected devices. Once companies learn how to collect data effectively from IoT devices, they will have access to valuable business insights to help predict customer behavior, target customers, and improve internal processes.
(The author is the CMD, Astrum India)
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