The Rise of Internet of Things - Impact on different sectors and industries

The Rise of Internet of Things - Impact on different sectors and industries

The internet of things is fundamentally altering how organizations do business, and maturing underlying technologies will make IoT easier to implement and help investors and companies seize new opportunities. By connecting devices and sensors to the internet, we are entering an age where data analytics, connectivity, and automation are creating innovations and progress previously out of reach. As the Industry 4.0 and home automation movements gain more traction, we will see IoT devices and embedded systems become more and more prevalent in our daily lives. The businesses that understand the use cases and potential of IoT are the businesses that will likely drive innovation over the next 10 years.

After years of hype, anticipation, and steady uptake, the Internet of Things (IoT) seems poised to cross over into mainstream business use. The number of businesses that use IoT technologies has increased from 13% in 2018 to about 25% today. And the worldwide number of IoT-connected devices is projected to increase to 43 billion by 2023, according to a report by Ericsson. This level of uptake is both a result and an impetus of the developing technologies that underpin the IoT. For one, technological advancement means that IoT technology will become easier to implement, opening the door for a wider variety of companies to benefit from IoT applications. Indeed, although large enterprises began to invest their sizable resources in IoT technologies years ago, the beneficiaries of this latest wave of IoT maturity will be small and medium-size enterprises.

In a survey conducted by Forbes insight and Intel, 700 executives were interviewed regarding implementation of IoT programs in their respective verticals. In this article, we will talk about the industries that have gained unprecedented growth due to effective implementation of IoT strategy and technologies.

1. Communications

For telecommunications providers and other communications companies, the mobile revolution is underscoring the shift to IoT. About half of the communications companies represented in the survey, 53%, either have IoT embedded into their processes or have it in key business areas. In communications companies, the most prevalent IoT data sources include audio devices (45%), followed by mobile phones (42%). The most prevalent application is preventive maintenance (44%), followed by efforts to increase employee productivity (40%). In addition, more than one-third of communications providers are in the forefront of applying approaches with computer vision and analytics to better understand and predict customer behavior, as well as the viability of assets.

2. Energy

Energy companies tend to have operations spread across remote locations such as oil and gas fields, which require continuous monitoring. Close to half of executives in the energy sector, 47%, indicate they either have implemented IoT across selected functions/business areas or have extensive IoT deployments. Leading data sources include machinery (49%) and robots (46%). Energy companies are turning to IoT to monitor asset performance (45%), enhance their customers’ experience (43%) and boost overall efficiency (40%).

3. Financial Services

Financial services organizations are highly security conscious, and therefore increasingly rely on networks of cameras and other visual sensors to ensure the viability of their facilities. As noted above, financial services lead the way in IoT deployment, with 58% of survey respondents having some degree of capabilities. Companies in this sector are also well ahead in terms of visual analytics adoption—51% report they have developed and implemented capabilities employing cameras and visual sensors connected to AI and analytics systems. Mobile phones are the leading endpoint choice for financial companies (cited by 51%), along with cameras and sensors (48%). While financial firms have multiple goals in their IoT efforts, most pronounced is the need to expand the connectivity of their networks (31%), along with employing IoT as a vehicle for greater security (30%).

4. Healthcare

Within healthcare, there is concern about the experiences customers receive not only at bedsides, but also in waiting rooms, emergency rooms and business offices. Healthcare organizations are also leading the way with IoT, with 55% having fairly robust deployments in place. In healthcare, audio devices and mobile phones are the most essential devices in use, mentioned by 46% of respondents in the sector. Employee monitoring is the most prevalent use case (41%), along with monitoring facilities and enhancing customer experiences (each cited by 38%). The majority, 57%, also employ visual analytics to improve their customer service and patient care levels.

5. Manufacturing

Manufacturing organizations have a range of opportunities—through computer vision to manage and track the movement of goods, linked to artificial intelligence-enhanced systems that can predict, and even remediate, events before they happen. But there’s more to the story than managing machines. Overall, compared with other industry groups, manufacturers are seeing the greatest transitions from IoT. A majority of executives in manufacturing firms, 51%, “strongly agree” that IoT is opening up new lines of business for their organizations. In addition, 29% of manufacturing executives report their IoT efforts have enabled them to offer new products or services, along with 29% of those with communications companies.

6. Retail

In retail, what happens on the sales floor doesn’t stay on the sales floor—customer behavior and reactions are studied, evaluated and evolved. Half of the retail executives in the survey, 51%, report having robust IoT efforts underway—either deployed across departments or extensively across their enterprises. A majority, 53%, also report employing visual analytics to some degree, enabling a greater understanding of customer preferences and behavior. The most prominent IoT data sources include computer systems (51%) and sensors (47%).

As different industries evolve and begin harnessing the potential that IoT brings, it is also critical to understand various underlying challenges that accompany this transition. The number of devices on the enterprise networks is exploding. Among them are a rising number of untrusted devices: IoT, BYOD, guest devices. Gartner Research predicts there will be over 25 billion connected IoT devices by the end of 2022, more than double of 2021. One noticeable game changer is the need for those autonomous devices to have Internet access to operate. This exposes organizations to IoT security and compliance risks. 1.5 billion IoT attacks occurred in the first half of 2021. Keeping these risks in mind, it is really crucial to think about complementary technologies and services that secure the network and provide safe access to all the connected devices.

The flexibility of IoT technology and embedded devices make them useful in a wide variety of applications and environments. By offering businesses an opportunity to increase automation and improve data processing and analytics, IoT is an attractive tool for organizations of all sizes. For these reasons, IoT devices will continue to drive change in a variety of industries over the next decade.

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