Did you know that the number of things connected to the Internet today is more than the number of people inhabiting our planet? And tech research firms are debating whether this number will explode to 25 billion or 50 billion by 2020.
Welcome to the world of the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s nothing but a sophisticated network of objects embedded with electronic systems that enable them to collect and exchange data. Think of self-driving cars, smart cities, wearables for remote health monitoring…our physical and digital worlds are getting connected in ways that we couldn’t even have imagined a decade ago.
And as more and more enterprises become a part of this Internet revolution, it’s important to consider how we can best harness the IoT potential for a better-connected future. Automation is not just about saving money, but also about building smarter services that are more responsive and resource efficient. The data collected from sensors and devices is meaningless unless it can be analyzed and shared to help better insights and decisions.
Let’s take a look at how IoT can change the way we live and work. Say hello to the future!
Life in the city
By 2050, 66 per cent of the world’s population is expected to folk to the cities. How will metropolises around the world cope with this influx? By investing in the right technologies.
The city of Boston, for instance, has deployed an interesting app – The Street Bump – to find and automatically report potholes to the mayor’s office, by using the accelerometer and GPS on one’s smartphone. Such predictive maintenance apps that facilitate proactive repairs will soon become the norm in big cities. Similarly, IoT-fuelled solutions can help cities deal more effectively with day-to-day issues such as commuter traffic, waste management and building maintenance. Just like connected security systems at home give dwellers a better sense of safety, a ‘smart city’ can make citizens active participants in monitoring the efficiencies of city infrastructure.
Dynamics at work
The good ol’ nine-to-five jobs are making way for flexi-hours and remote working arrangements. Employees will no longer need to be tied to their desks; IoT-driven predictive mobile apps will seamlessly track and report employee activities, manage timesheets, and update project statuses. In certain parts of the world, workers are already adapting to augmented reality (AR) glasses on the field, while the desk personnel are enjoying the perks of remote device management (no more waiting for the IT guy to turn up at your desk to find out what’s wrong with your device, and yes, lesser downtime, too). Not surprising then, that with IoT-enabled devices, work gets done faster and better.
And for all those who are worried that IoT will take away their jobs, the good news is that automation will also open up new professional avenues. The key is to stay relevant. Fancy being a smart energy expert?
Imagine never having to visit the doctor again! All you need is a wearable device that can provide biometric updates to your doctor. IoT-enabled technologies have the potential to make living with a chronic ailment – say diabetes, for example – less stressful. Wouldn’t it be easy if one could manage the intake of sugar and insulin, by simply using a connected blood glucose monitor that captures regular readings?
In a couple of years, majority of the population will be using connected health monitors – to track heart rate, blood pressure and other vital signs – as a preventive measure and a better alternative to spending time at the doctor’s waiting room.
Good for business
From building aircrafts in virtual reality with robots working alongside humans to farmers cutting down on water consumption in drought-ridden areas by using cloud-based moisture sensors, IoT is making its way into every industry. Whether it is in retail, automobile, or logistics, the promise of intelligent data gathered via connected sensors holds huge potential for enterprises as well as their customers. Harnessing this data provides real-time insight as well as opportunities to identify new macro trends.
For instance, IoT is making usage-based insurance (UBI) a reality for car owners. While it helps insurers to effectively assess, price and limit risks, the customers enjoy shorter response times and more efficient claims processes.
We are at the threshold of an Internet revolution. Enterprises that manage to harness the power of IoT are expected to reduce operating costs, increase employee productivity, and enhance organizational connectivity.
Enterprises need to think big, start small, scale fast. For IoT to work, you need to focus on improving your data capabilities and overall process agility. It is not just about connecting the maximum number of devices to the network. The idea is to create a tomorrow where everything is connected to facilitate a truly meaningful exchange of ideas and innovations at home, work, and everywhere in between. Whether it’s more intuitive healthcare services or intelligent business insights, the best is yet to come.
Write to us on any queries related to implementing Internet of Things solutions in your organization. We would love to hear from you.