Inside IoT

As new technologies come online, the challenges of adoption mean that businesses are exposed to new risks and uncertainties. IoT (Internet of Things) is one such new technology, with a lot of risks and uncertainties, though many are blown out of proportion. It will take a number of years for IoT to reach it’s full potential, but there are signs that the process is well underway.

The key software and hardware needed are either readily available or currently being developed. However, there are barriers to be overcome in the form of concerns over privacy and security, and these must be addressed by stakeholders, who must work towards the open standards required to make IoT secure, safe, reliable as well as interoperable, allowing services to be delivered as seamlessly and securely as possible.

Cisco expects the IoT industry to be worth $19 trillion over the next number of years. However, there are some myths around the component parts which are causing problems for companies when it comes to developing applications to support them, here are a couple.

1. Sensors and IoT: Cisco is claiming that the main challenge IoT brings is that the power of networks is still very centralized. This is still true in the era of the cloud, as most online resources are still held in a few huge data centers that may not be located very conveniently for your business. This is a problem for IoT, as some of the processes require the analysis of massive amounts of data, and there may be latency issues when using servers located hundreds or even thousands of miles away. The solution is to do more computing locally to any IoT sensors being used, thus reducing the amount of data which needs to be sent to central servers.

2. Mobile data and IoT: Smartphones play a part when it comes to collecting data and providing the user interfaces used to access IoT apps, however they’re not very well suited to being central to the process. Most IoT processing will be done remotely using dedicated gateways, with a few notable exceptions being wearables, bio monitoring and some applications related to automobiles. This is not to say that smartphones and cellular communications will not have a role in IoT, but for reasons of cost and availability, IoT will need a diverse set of software, hardware and networking solutions.