Many of us remember the Super Bowl fiasco where a commercial turned on thousands of Google Homes around the country. While amusing or uninteresting for most of us, there was an outcry from those who realized their televisions just turned on their auditory web browsers.
Anyone with a smart phone that links to a car can see information is passed with only general permissions. It has long been known Google scans personal emails for ad opportunities. But that begs the question of what other data is available? Full lives are contained in technological objects.
We are quickly approaching the event horizon for the Internet of Things (IoT).
What is IoT?
Let’s explore that a bit more. We’ve had interconnected technology since the advent of TCP/IP in 1982, when multiple computers came online together in what we know as the internet. In 1990 a toaster, the first non-computer device, was added to the network. By 2000, connectivity moved beyond computers and MIT graduates with LG’s first connected refrigerator.
That was seventeen years ago. Now homeowners don’t think twice about holding a cell phone up to a clothes washer for diagnostics or arming their home security system with an iPad half a city away. Cisco Systems estimates there will be 50 billion objects connected to the internet by 2020.
How is that possible? Every device we have is connecting to the internet. Laptops with Cortana sync to our phones, which sync to Google or Apple, which sync to our Fitbits and smart watches, which sync to our televisions. Eventually this technology will encompass all our daily objects.
Good or bad?
And that can be a good thing. Medical equipment measures and immediately uploads data to a patient’s file. A primary care provider is informed as soon as an individual seeks medical care. Information such as allergies and histories are available to the attending doctors regardless of the patient’s ability to communicate. Phone apps increase medication compliance as well as connectivity for aging individuals who are alone.
The medical field is not the only sector to benefit. Businesses around the globe are benefiting from IoT connectivity. Phone apps can recruit new employees, getting in touch with the best talent as soon as there is interest. Documents can be shared regardless of access to a server, and marketing data is being compiled at astounding rates. Software updates have streamlined, and IT departments are able to do more with less.
According to Cisco’s recently published SlideShare Internet of Things (IoT) study, The Journey to IoT Value: Challenges, Breakthroughs, and Best Practices, 73% of businesses are using IoT data to improve their businesses. From operations to decision making, data analytics is benefiting businesses.
Despite the prevalence of IoT data in the world of business, only 26% of surveyed companies are successful with their IoT initiatives (Connected Futures Slideshare). Three factors are needed for successful integration of IoT into business strategy: collaboration between IT and business, IoT Expertise, and a technology focused culture. Internal and external partnerships between business and IoT specialists is key for a business to find success with their initiative. In fact, lack of internal expertise with IoT was found to slow progress in businesses attempting use.
That is where partnerships with a mobile solutions provider with expertise can pave the way for any IoT initiative. The most successful organizations use their IT partner at every step, starting at the strategic planning stage. As the graph below shows, partnering with an expert strengthens deliverables.
While the public at large has yet to really understand IoT and the immense data be driven through the internet, businesses can maximize information to drive bottom line results. And although Google has announced it will no longer scan personal emails, data being driven to servers from company owned devices and even BYO devices will continue to increase.
The decision to be made is will you be ahead or behind the trend.
Join us the first week of every month where we discuss how IoT impacts and benefits business.