It’s hard for organisations not to get caught up in the latest IT trends. Smartphones and cloud-based applications promise greater mobility, access to powerful new ways of working and a number of other opportunities. The reasoning is often solid, but there are risks to following every new IT trend.
One new trend that businesses will want to consider is certainly going to be the Internet of Things (IoT). For those needing a refresher, this deals with the constantly growing network of physical objects that can connect to a network. It’s more than just mobile devices – the IoT covers everything from light bulbs to cars.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at the IoT and why businesses may want to start thinking seriously about it.
Security spending is set for massive growth
According to research from Gartner, spending on IoT security alone will reach US$348 million this year, increasing significantly from the $281.5 million seen last year.
“The market for IoT security products is currently small but it is growing as both consumers and businesses start using connected devices in ever greater numbers,” said Senior Research Director Ruggero Contu.
So many connected devices transmitting such a large quantity of sensitive data can lead to serious security concerns. Take a power company, for example. If this company was using connected smart meters in homes, and cyber attackers gained access to the data, they’d potentially know what times customers used the most power or even when they were home.
Opportunity is everywhere
International Data Corporation (IDC) regularly surveys the state of the IoT market, and in a recent forecast found that the trend is development across consumers and businesses.
“While wearable devices are the consumer face of the Internet of Things, and where recognition of IoT appears to begin, the real opportunity remains in the enterprise and public sector markets,” said Senior VP Vernon Turner.
“The rippled effect of IoT is driving traditional business models from IT-enabled business process to IT-enabled services and finally to IT-enabled products, which is beginning to disrupt the IT status quo.”
It’s a trend that’s unlikely to slow at any point in the near future – and it’s a sure sign that businesses need to get involved with the trend sooner rather than later.
What’s in it for businesses?
Like most new IT trends, the IoT will mean different things for different businesses. However, there are certainly general benefits. By connecting nearly every imaginable object to a network, companies will able to to access significant quantities of highly relevant data.
Take a delivery business as an example. With sensors placed in vehicles, it then becomes possible for the fleet manager to see distances travelled, fuel used and even things like the tyre pressure of different trucks in the fleet. This in turn means preemptive maintenance is easily manageable.
The important thing to remember is the IoT is a network of connected objects, not just devices. Everything a business requires data for can be linked to a network.
A report from McKinsey & Company noted that while it may seem as if IoT developments haven’t yet taken off, the trend is fast accelerating. The organisation compared the IoT to that of Bluetooth: While conversations were certainly happening in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it wasn’t until 2003 and 2004 where it started to take off.
Reach out NetCraft
The IoT is here to stay – the growth is global and the opportunities are unlimited. For businesses, it’s time to find out both how it can benefit operations, and the risks involved. Consider getting in touch with the experts at NetCraft to learn more.