The internet of things: creating a connected future

As the internet of things continues to make its mark on businesses across every industry, Denise Lund, research director at IDC, tells us what lies ahead for the phenomenon

Lindsay James
Lindsay James
By Lindsay James on 28 January 2015
The internet of things: creating a connected future

This article was first published in the Winter 2014 issue of OnWindows

What are the biggest opportunities that the internet of things (IoT) presents?
What we hear from enterprises around the globe is that the IoT solutions they are implementing bring them cost savings, improved customer service – due to improved data on hand – and faster decision making. Some enterprises even report being able to generate new revenue streams due to IoT.

What challenges do businesses face in terms of leveraging IoT and dealing with the massive amount of data being generated by devices?
This is a great question. Managing proactively for network capacity, mitigating vulnerabilities in the IoT system all the way out to the edge devices, and determining the nature of the IoT analytics engine required are three of the fundamental challenges that businesses face. In fact, IDC’s IoT and security expert teams expect vulnerability attacks to become one of the IT industry’s major challenges as large amounts of valuable data will be stored at the edge of the network infrastructure.

What can be done to address this?
Generally speaking, having roadmaps that have IoT data volume and other such triggers anticipated mapped to investment strategies that will accommodate the capacity and security changes required will go a long way to keep IoT delivering smoothly to the business. Specifically, IT will need to invest in keeping up with the security improvements and other technology that will enable wide-scale virtualisation and software-driven device management.

Can you highlight some of the more exciting ways that IoT is being used at the moment?
Just about all of it is exciting. There’s a lot of interest from enterprises around the globe to bring efficiencies to customer service, product time-to-market, energy management and even keep their own industrial machinery up and running. According to IDC’s 2014 IoT Survey, 60% of enterprises globally view IoT as strategic to their business. When it comes to government, there is a lot of excitement around public-facing solutions such as connected cities and IoT-infused healthcare. Then, add to that the excitement around connected cars. Nearly every major service provider has some sort of play in the connected car or smart goods market. So not only are these vendors happy because they’re generating new revenue through new products and services, but they’re making consumers happy too!

How will IoT evolve in the years to come?
As a globe of businesses and consumers, we are just at the beginning of understanding what a world of IoT-connected solutions can do for us. With nearly one-fifth of the population expected to be millennials by 2018, we are clearly heading to a world where a connected culture will be the norm and data-driven experiences will become part and parcel of our work and personal lives.

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