Expertise Beyond the Numbers

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Conversations discussing, analyzing, and predicting the future impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) have flooded the pages of Forbes, Business Insider, Wired, and many tech-related publications – and for good reason. The potential IoT has on the way technology is produced and businesses operate is enormous.

Until recently, the only devices connecting to the Internet were our personal computers, smart phones, and a few other minor gadgets. But the proliferation of IoT has enabled the connectivity of numerous products and devices to the Internet. The popularity and immense capabilities of personal voice assistants like the Google Home and the Amazon Echo is a prime example of just how powerful the IoT platforms are becoming.

The concept of IoT is growing even beyond the connectivity of devices to the Internet. Connecting everything from your FitBit to the toaster in your kitchen was just the beginning. Now, the IoT platform also pertains to mechanical components. The engine in your car to the drill of industrial mining equipment has the capability of connecting to a network to capture and share important data.

With the escalating importance of any new technology/methodology, it’s imperative to analyze the benefits and the risks, or … the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good

The good news is IoT is growing rapidly. The global IoT market hit $157 billion in 2016 and continues to rise year over year. Recent forecasts predict the market will grow to $457 billion by 2020, a 28.5% compound annual growth rate.

Billions of new devices will be developed with network connectivity each year. Devices that will assist manufacturers in isolating production problems with production, assist hospitals by capturing and retrieve data before the patient arrives for treatment, and support marketers to pinpoint their target audience with data obtained from smart watches and phones.  IoT platforms improve accuracy, increase efficiency, collect data and drastically reduce the need for human intervention.

The Bad

If you haven’t begun researching and planning how IoT platforms will affect your business and your bottom line, you’re dangerously close to being behind the curve. Many organizations have dedicated time and resources to uncovering how an IoT platform will push their business to the next level.

The potential of IoT is not something to take lightly, and is definitely not something to ignore. It’s okay to be skeptical, but it’s not okay to ignore it completely. IoT isn’t something to just keep a curious eye on as its popularity in the media rises and falls like Bitcoin. IoT platforms and devices are being developed and implemented at accelerated rates.

If you haven’t already, take the first step and research the implications IoT can have in your given industry. Seek out the expert opinions of professionals who study and analyze IoT platforms.

The Ugly

If it connects to the Internet – there’s a cyber security risk. We already know devices that connect to the Internet, like our cell phone cameras, our smart TVs, and even the smart locks we’re putting on our doors, are vulnerable to attack.  If it connects to the Internet, it can be compromised

The cyber security risk of network/Internet-integrated devices is definitely the ugly side of the Internet of Things, but it shouldn’t be cause for alarm. The cyber security risks these devices pose requires an organization to take additional precautions and understand how a device or IoT platform is vulnerable. We protect our computers with anti-virus/anti-malware software and multiple security levels.  The same will have to be done with IoT platforms.

As the IoT platform and interconnected devices expands, so does the risk, but the Internet of Thing’s potential for growth, benefits and value far outweighs the risks.

Interested in discovering what your organization can achieve with the Internet of Things? Contact our team here and let’s begin our discussion today.