What’s the deal with IoT and why do experts think this transform the way we do business and live our lives? According to these experts, the Internet of things will bring nearly limitless opportunities for business and society by facilitating the interconnection of systems across our businesses, homes, and mobile moments. All of this connectivity allows us to not only better understand consumer behavior and product capability by being more in touch with their needs on a consistent basis, but also how consumers interact with these products through the information gathered. 

But are these experts right? For most consumers, let alone slow-moving bigger organizations, this is still an inexperienced technology. Most implementations to date have been superficial and simple test cases. What still needs to be confirmed, though a much deeper dive, is – Are these “limitless” opportunities really a possibility, or are we looking at a technology made more of hype than promise? 

First, we need to define what exactly the “Internet of things” is and, more importantly, and what impact is it going to have on your organization and everyday life. According to Gartner, by 2020 information will be used to reinvent, digitize or eliminate 80% of business processes and products from a decade earlier. However, organizations that don't know what information they have, or need, are unable to leverage information as an asset for streamlining processes.

What is it?
  • Some examples in today’s world are “Smart Systems” such as home automation devices like HVAC systems, refrigerators and other appliances that you can monitor remotely. Basically all of the devices have Wi-Fi enabled applications allowing you to interact with it from anywhere you are; even at the Grocery store!
  • In the next 3-5 years there will be billions of devices “connected” allowing us to improve how we work and overall our way of living.
The Effects – Is it really limitless?
  • The reality is that the IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can’t even think of or fully understand the impact of today.
  • Makes the data easily accessible by experts who are searching for the answers to today’s big questions.
    • Already concerns over data available. Massive amounts of data that all of these devices are going to produce.
    • Companies need to figure out a way to store, track, analyze and make sense of the vast amounts of data that will be generated.
    • May hold the answer too many of the driving questions organizations face on a daily basis…Can data be used to improve our health?
  • Opens up companies all over the world to more security threats. Then we have the issue of privacy and data sharing.
  • What will competition look like? Is it a closed environment that will only limit its expansion?
  • Are these services truly limitless? What guarantee does the consumer have that providers will not simply deactivate applications making the underlying product they paid for Null and Void?
    • For example, Nest recently discontinued their home automation product provided to Revolv which essentially shut down any version of the application for all users. Revolv encouraged the use of this product but then took it away with no rights to its customers. Now customers are left with a “lemon” with no “lemon law rights”. If you buy a new car today next year’s model may come out in a few months, but you wouldn’t expect your model to be obsolete with no serviceability would you?
Immediate Conclusions
Data from IoT solutions often brings risks and uncertainty related to quality, ownership and privacy, and product survivability which creates barriers to optimal use.  Promises of IoT for individuals and business, they remain just promises. The jury is still out and more testing is a must before any successful claims can be made
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Leigh Merz

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