You may be one of those people who despite having heard of the IoT still do not have a clear idea of what it is, how it works, its benefits and the importance it brings to our lives and to different industries. And one of the first questions we can ask ourselves is, what is IoT or where can I see it? And the answer is as simple as IoT means “Internet of Things” and you can see it in your smartwatch, in smart TVs, in your home automation, or any physical device that receives and transfers data through wireless networks such as the internet, without the need for human intervention.
Nowadays there are a large number of electronic devices connected to the internet, which help us in the process and development of our lives. The current situation we live in due to the pandemic, has increased its use since people are unable to attend their jobs, schools, universities, everything has been developed virtually, meetings by video call, virtual classes or work remotely through IoT devices.
IoT in industry
The IoT allows companies to improve their current systems and design entirely new points of connection with their customers through technological applications, especially with respect to instrumentation and sensor control. Likewise with the emergence of the cloud and related technologies (such as Analytics and Machine Learning), industries can achieve a new layer of automation and create with it new revenue and business models.
The IoT or IIoT as the Industrial Internet of Things is known has proven for many companies that it is worth the effort and investment, calling it the fourth wave of the industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 in which experts expect the global IIoT market to reach $751 billion by 2023.
As IoT spreads in the market, companies know the enormous value it can offer, and some of the advantages that can be obtained are:
- Process automation through the implementation of machines
- Customer insight through data collection
- Occupational safety through risk analysis by means of sensors
- Asset control
- Strategic improvements through customer analysis
- Creation of new business models and revenue streams
Industries benefiting from IoT
Electronic devices that analyze daily behavior and help machines see what is needed during the day to perform their work well are being used in different industries today. But the organizations that stand to gain the most from the IoT are those that can adapt the use of sensor devices in their business processes, such as the following:
- Logistics: to know where every truck, container and object in the distribution line is. For example: In a large retail store, they monitor the objects and robots within their facilities in order to optimize routes, reduce costs or add security.
- Manufacturing: all types of manufacturing processes, from bottles to stuffed animals, can be connected and become part of the Internet of Things. For example: the Internet-connected robots we see in a car assembly line providing optimization and greater precision in their processes.
- Construction: it is becoming more and more common to have sensorized and connected construction machinery. Knowing where a backhoe is is important, but analyzing in real time its fuel, state of conservation or having each component digitized adds a lot of value.
- Agriculture: agriculture is a sector that is not very digitized, but moisture sensors, irrigation or sowing robots and even harvesters that analyze the color of the crops to pick them at the optimum moment or drones that patrol the land looking for pests are already being added.
And to mention a specific example, in agriculture work is of utmost importance and the accuracy of each of the fertilizers to be irrigated to the soil is essential, so there are sensors that detect a digital map of the land and by obtaining relevant data for analysis can be defined if it is necessary to apply some kind of product or if it is ready for development.
Another example is the company that creates Volvo trucks in which with the collection of IoT data, transmitted by streaming through thousands of sensors in each vehicle, they can monitor fault codes to know when there is a problem in a system, such as the engine or transmission and thus be able to give an early solution to an error, serious problem or avoid a tragedy.
And you’re probably wondering what other uses can IIoT be put to? Recently, industries have been using machine-to-machine communication to achieve automation and wireless control. But with the emergence of new technologies such as IoT, companies can achieve a new layer of automation and create new revenue or business models with it. Here are some common uses of IIoT:
- Preventive and predictive maintenance: smart sensors, robots
- Smart grids: smart meters
- Smart cities: traffic lights, garbage garbage cans, street lights
- Connected and smart logistics: autonomous vehicles, smart sensors that allow to have control of product processing
- Smart digital supply chains: sensors throughout the production chain
Benefits of IoT for industries
Companies live in constant improvement and transformation, seeking to understand the behavior and tastes of their customers, so they see in the IoT a way to understand the lives of users, their needs, requirements they want to improve their experiences and thus be able to apply significant changes to their strategies, while its arrival helps their workers to be 100% interacting and being more productive with massive data management in a simpler way.
Among the benefits of IoT we can find:
- Increased productivity: the connectivity provided by the IoT helps electronic devices to be connected to each other and that these do not need the help of a human to coordinate their process, it can also be mentioned the incorporation of sensors that collaborate foreseeing the failure of a machine and alerting so that it can be attended in advance.
- More connected people: IoT applied to the industry allows people to be connected to the internet, helping people to connect in a more relevant, valuable and direct way.
- Proactive use of data: as IoT is applied to the industry, electronic devices begin to collect relevant big data from each of the users that can be used in a good way, either for decision making, knowing customers, improving products, among others.
These are just some of the many benefits that IoT provides for industries, however, there is still a long way to go, and this technology will give us future surprises. On the other hand, if you plan to implement IoT in your home, in your company or anywhere else, there are certain aspects that you must take into account since there are no impregnable systems.
It is important to consider the following points when implementing IoT, since the objects present a certain level of risk, such as data theft, but with the right tools it can be greatly reduced.
Below are some aspects to take into account and how to minimize their impact:
- Electronic devices are vulnerable to information theft: security leaves completely aside the IoT objects without passwords, giving the possibility of information theft more easily, so it is advisable to buy devices that allow you to set a password (not use a default one) and be constantly changing it.
- There are many replicas that infringe the original state of what we want: acquiring more affordable devices can put us in a vulnerable place in terms of privacy or security of our information as they can collect a lot of potentially dangerous information from our company or staff, so it is advisable to buy recognized brands that allow us to keep the device updated and that generate confidence.
- The purchase of an electronic device entails the responsibility of using it correctly: the use of IoT devices entails a great responsibility as it must be used properly, which does not affect other people and does not endanger your personal information or that of others.
Security is an important process that must be taken into account in all phases of a connected device’s life, from design to end-of-life. If device protection measures are not taken into account, we can be victims of a cybersecurity incident that could affect both the aforementioned device, as well as those nearby.
As a conclusion, the Internet of Things is closer to being implemented at a general level than a world average would think, it arrived to reinvent and change the industry and the world. Currently some manufacturers have already started to implement a small-scale version of it, generating a very credible promise for workers and all people. Do you want to learn more about IoT and the advantages it would generate to your company? Schedule a brief consulting session with us to identify how we can help you.