Understanding the Importance of IoT (Internet of Things) : Pros, Cons, and Opinions
“I believe that at the end of the century the use of words and general educated opinion will have altered so much that one will be able to speak of machines thinking without expecting to be contradicted.” – Alan Turing
It seems as if everybody is talking about IoT. The good, the bad, the alarming advent as well as the importance. In the current time where everything is dominated by technology, it is vital for us to understand the importance of Internet of Things (IoT).
Internet of Things or IoT refers to the way of connecting physical objects through the internet to other devices. According to Oracle, more than 7 billion connected IoT devices are currently operating today. In fact, experts anticipate this figure to grow to 22 billion by 2025.
Speaking of its relevance, numerous devices in our home can connect to each other and share information using IoT. As a result, our regular household items can (or are able to) integrate with sophisticated tech to do more. Moreover, IoT is smart tech. Although it is currently in an embryogenic stage, it will, sooner or later, evolve. Who knows we might actually have more than just driverless cars and personal assistant devices like Alexa and Google.
Therefore, in this blog, we will briefly understand the importance of Internet of Things (IoT). We will also have a look at how various industries are benefiting from it as well as what prominent leaders like Elon Musk, Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are saying about it.
Understanding the Importance of IoT (Internet of Things)
Before we dive deep into understanding the importance of IOT, let us first understand its functioning.
How does IoT work?
IoT is a giant network with several interconnected devices. These devices have sensors embedded into them that are capable of sensing their surroundings. Moreover, these devices include appliances like mobile phones, air conditioners, cars, etc., and store information in some form of data.
These embedded sensors constantly emit data about their surroundings and the working information of the devices. As a result, IoT becomes a platform to dispose of all the data collected by the devices. The IoT platform further includes cloud servers and large databases while also acting on the data. Thus, the platform analyzes the data thoroughly for collecting important details. It then sends back instructions based on the provided data.
Finally, the data aggregation is shared with other devices for enhanced performance in the future. It also enables improved user experience.
How are industries benefiting from IoT?
Today, the future of IoT seems huge and bright. This is relevant from the following data:
- According to Business Insider, 24 billion IoT devices were installed in 2020 only.
- ITC anticipated that IoT revenue will be $300 billion in the future.
Based on the above data, we can certainly say that this will help generate a myriad of job opportunities in tech as well as other industries. Here are a few industries that are extensively benefiting from the internet of things.
1. IoT in Manufacturing
With the Industrial Internet of Things or IIoT market projected to reach a valuation of $1.3 trillion by 2032, manufacturers are already a step closer to embracing industry 4.0. Here is how IoT is helping in a manufacturing environment:
- Providing real-time production visibility
- Enabling automated data collection
- Improved productivity and reduction in quality defects
- Decrease in costs
2. IoT in Transportation and Logistics
IoT is greatly helping transport and logistics companies mitigate various challenges by the use of built-in sensors and onboard diagnostic systems. Especially during unprecedented times, like the past COVID-19, IoT adoption soared. According to a survey by Inmarsat, 77% of respondents have fully deployed at least one IoT project.
3. IoT in Healthcare
The global internet of medical things (IoMT) market is expected to swell to a $158 billion valuation in 2022, up from $41 billion in 2017. As a result, IoT has paved the way for more accessible data and better healthcare for patients.
Advantages of IoT (Internet of Things)
Given its extensive application in various prominent sectors, the following are some of the advantages of IoT which is facilitating various industries in embracing industry 4.0:
- Provides businesses with valuable data for generating more revenue
- Boosts employee productivity
- Saves time and money for an organization
- Enables a better decision-making process
- Improves process efficiency, asset utilization, and productivity
- Benefits in real-time insights and analytics to make better decisions
- Benefits people in creating opportunities in business and industries
The above-listed advantages of IoT are just the tip of the iceberg. This is because the applications and implementations of IoT are limitless, from the perspective of innovation and advancement.
(Potential) Threats/Implications of the Internet of Things
Elon Musk once said, “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, I’d probably say that. So, we need to be very careful.”
As predicted by the networking company Cisco, there are 28.5 billion connected devices in the world, as of 2022. Essentially, there’s no household today where we won’t find a single connected device.
However beneficial it might be, there are some potential threats that we should be concerned about. With the increase in IoT devices, there’s an increased cyberattack directed at them. According to Kaspersky Lab’s report, there were three times more attacks on connected devices in the first half of 2018 than there were in the entire of 2017. Previously, in the period between 2016 and 2017, the number of attacks increased 10 times, indicating a troubling upward trend that’s set to become even more pronounced in the coming years as IoT devices become more ubiquitous.
Here is the darker side of the internet of things:
- IoT paves way for data breaches and dependency.
- Although it completes complicated tasks, a huge set of complicated tasks run behind these devices in order to complete the task.
- Most importantly, since these devices are connected to several devices and communicate within a network, there’s no privacy between them on the network.
Above all, among companies working at scale with IoT, there seems to be a wide gap between the top and bottom performers. According to data by McKinsey, 9 practices distinguish leaders from their less successful peers.
So, what are global leaders saying about the internet of things?
Bill Gates says: “If you invent a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, so machines can learn, that is worth 10 Microsofts.” Likewise, Brendan O’Brien says: “If you think that the internet has changed your life, think again. The Internet of Things is about to change it all over again!”
However, Robert Cannon believes, “Everything that can be automated will be automated.” Whereas Parker Trewin believes: “With emerging IoT technologies collecting terabytes of personal data the question is, are we ready to unbutton our online dress shirt while many are still just loosening their collars?”
To conclude with the importance of IoT or the internet of things, in the words of Eric Schmidt: “The Internet of things will augment your brain.”