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“When historians look back at 2015 they will note that this was the dawn of the Internet of Things (IoT)” Peter Gothard. The IoT is a big data issue as the volume of data collected is growing exponentially. The possibilities are endless where the IoT is concerned, virtually anything capable of carrying a sensor will be connected. The question is, what will the era of the IoT bring?
Analysts are already making some big predictions. Wikibon believes that the value of efficiency savings from machine data alone could reach close to $1.3tn dollars and will drive $514B in IT spend by 2020. Meanwhile investment bank Goldman Sachs cites a $2tn opportunity by 2020 with the IoT set to have an impact at every stage in the production and distribution of products and services.
However, the IoT is not just a short-term development, in the last week Paris and London both hosted separate conferences focusing on the IoT and connected living. They each featured several panels and industry leaders that shared their insights into the field. One of the key themes of the Connected Conference was of course, “Big Data”.
With the increasing number of connected devices that make up the IoT, companies have available to them more resources collecting information on a daily basis. The data coming in from sensors, networks and machines represents a huge increase in both volume and the variety of data formats. However, data collected in this form can have little value if it is not utilised to improve the way in which consumers use products.
For example, the IoT will not only improve public safety through tracking and censorship but improve the environment we live in. Production lines will be optimised and companies like Uber will make big wins in the future. We are already seeing the impact the IoT is having on smart metering which has led to greater energy efficacy. This was very much a common consensus among the panellists at The Connected Conference, David Tomas of Opendatasoft noted that “data is and will remain subjective”, arguing that “what’s key is how you build services” based on information.
However, a recent Toluna study of 1,000 consumers highlighted a number of key concerns surrounding connected devices, with security cited as the greatest issue (67%), followed by reliability (62%) and behavioural issues such as distracted drivers and constant interference (47%). For some industries the IoT is an area that cannot be avoided but others must think about the security and safety elements that come with embedding connectivity into objects. Brands must look at the bigger picture and ask themselves whether this could improve the value that they are offering and whether this will positively or negatively affect revenue streams.
The IoT is poised to deliver significant business benefits to organisations that are forward-thinking enough to envision the opportunities and efficiencies it can hold. That being said this is if organisations provide this to the right audience within the right sector.
So, what will the era of the IoT bring and how will organisations respond to this? Generally the attitude at both conferences were very positive and though from an organisational perspective the IoT is a big shift culturally, in the long-term many industries can benefit from embracing the IoT. The benefits could be endless but ultimately, consumer perception and acceptance will be the main driver of success.