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IoT: The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Choosing the right platform can provide the necessary security levels and reduce how much time companies spend testing and deploying security measures.
By Lee Stacey
Jul 14, 2019

It's hard to come up with an industry that will not be affected in some shape or form by the Internet of Things (IoT)—everything from travel and manufacturing to health care and retail. There are billions of connected devices globally, with some estimating that by next year there could be more than 50 billion devices connected. In this ever-connected landscape, the IoT will play a big part in reshaping industries and markets, with many now defining it as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). So what can we expect?

The IoT allows for organizations across all business verticals to look at new and different ways to go about things, and it will also witness the birth of completely new businesses sporting an entirely different outlook. Important business processes, such as asset tracking, data gathering and new business modelling, to name but a few, will see enhancement through the introduction of IoT infrastructure.

A great example of such changes can be seen in manufacturing processes, in which budgeting becomes increasingly more efficient because centralized data monitoring allows the measurement of industrial plant usage, allowing businesses to predict faults in advance and decrease any potential downtime; in this way, services can be carried out before any faults can arise and associated costs can be minimized. Indeed, all data collected in this fashion can be vigorously analyzed, with the outcomes driving all kinds of change and improvements. If you can build a sensor for it, then any "thing" can be closely scrutinized to provide data regarding usage, location, ambient temperature, moisture levels, ad infinitum.

The practice of collecting data and using it so that businesses can improve accordingly isn't groundbreaking. However, with the advent of modern cellular communication (5G is on the horizon) and the internet, the IoT will herald data gathering, access and analytics on a global access, all with relative ease. Of course, there are challenges on the road to IoT ubiquity, which will arise in areas such as security and data privacy, and there also needs to be a measure of network standardization from an infrastructure point of view. These challenges are not insurmountable, however, and the correct IoT strategy will help to deliver enhanced experiences for industry and a positive knock-on effect for consumers.

Taking the IoT Plunge
When businesses turn their attention to an IoT strategy, there are many factors to take into consideration that cover everything from data and security to infrastructure and hardware. Perhaps a good start is to understand the value proposition. While this requires a good deal of time and effort, it is critically important to get it right. Engaging with the right IoT partner can go a long way toward saving time and money in the long run.

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