Whatever their size, interest, geography and industry – all businesses will benefit from remembering just three simple rules of engagement when embracing the Internet of Things, says a new report published by technology company Flexeye.
The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been discussed since at least 1991, originally conceived as providing all objects in the world with a machine-readable identifier that could be used for tagging. Today the term is used to denote a world in which everyday objects are connected to the internet via a network, allowing them to send and receive data.
So the big change is to connect all the things that have not been put online before. That means everything from toys to towns, houses to skyscrapers, shoes to shoe factories, cars to cows and packing crates to pack animals. The list of candidate things to be connected is all inclusive – literally anything and everything from the world around us.
The potential value of IoT to industry is huge – embracing it will allow businesses to perform tasks faster and cheaper than before and even interact with the world in new ways, opening up fresh opportunities.
Gartner estimates that the resulting global economic value-add to industry as a result of increasing sales and decreasing inputs and costs will be $1.9 trillion (£1.1tn) across multiple sectors with manufacturing, healthcare and finance being the ones to benefit most. By 2020 Gartner estimates that over $300 billion (£175bn) incremental revenue for IoT suppliers with around $250 billion (£146bn) derived from services, and IoT will include anywhere from 30 billion to 50 billion connected devices. Some analysts say even these estimates may be conservative.
Richie Saville, author of the white paper Lord of the things and CTO of Flexeye, said: 'Business leaders know they need to embrace IoT but how to go about it can be a thorny issue. Whether you are a large or a small business, whatever your interest or geography, you can begin to unlock the enormous potential of the IoT by remembering three simple things: identity, visibility and intelligence.'
A summary of the three IoT rules of engagement:
- Identity – take the real-world object (or 'thing') you want to connect and define and capture it in the digital world.
- Visibility – find a way for your chosen object to be digitally found and accessed by stakeholders, including other connected objects.
- Intelligence – use digital processing to enable the newly connected object to become 'smart' – that is, able to make decisions and take actions autonomously and without the need for human intervention.
Flexeye CEO Justin Anderson said: 'IoT is not a fad, it's an industrial revolution that will irreversibly change how, why and in what way we all work and play, bringing with it pivotal changes in industry and business structures.
'Interconnectivity between devices will ultimately change business strategy from vertical to horizontal, with silos breaking down and tech taking over where human intervention is no longer required. IoT will bring enormous competitive advantages to its industrial adopters.'