June 29, 2017
As the IoT expands, so do opportunities to make it more secure and dramatically improve business.
It’s safe to say that humans have achieved a connected world. The internet of things (IoT) is part of the global information network that has proliferated over the last generation, starting with the internet and related networks, expanding with the growth of broadband and wireless networking technologies, and ultimately diversifying to include a multitude of devices that can send and receive data. The IoT’s dizzying growth is one factor that may push faster rollout of next-generation wireless networks.
The IoT spans two overlapping areas: the creation of smart, connected products, and the collection of data to improve business performance. Different sectors and businesses focus more on one area or the other. In the former category are familiar consumer devices, ranging from smart watches and thermostats to home assistants and even connected cars. The latter includes the industrial internet of things, in which manufacturers and other industrials collect and analyze data from equipment and other sources to improve their processes, predict and prevent problems, and ultimately create superior ecosystems for new products and services.
According to PwC’s 2017 Global Digital IQ Survey: Emerging technology insights, 73 percent of the executives surveyed say their companies are currently investing in the IoT. North American aerospace and defense, wholesale and distribution, and technology firms lead the way in investment today. In three years, entertainment and media, technology, healthcare payers and providers, hospitality and leisure, and professional services companies will join them.
Meanwhile, increased IoT adoption has resulted in the generation of larger-than-ever data volumes, linking big data and the IoT in such a way that enterprises can’t consider one without the other.
Hailed as a way to cut costs while harnessing actionable data, the IoT’s distributed nature also raises legitimate security concerns. High-profile incidents such as the distributed denial-of-service attack that hobbled the internet in the eastern United States in late 2016 are a constant reminder that the IoT’s benefits come with risk.