IoT for Business Enterprises: Everything You Need to Know
Here's everything you need to know about implementing IoT solutions in your enterprise.
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Before digging out the details of IoT, let me explain what IoT actually means and how it has evolved over the years. To begin with, let's understand what IoT is. It is a device or software that connects the physical world to the digital.
IoT allows access to things remotely; this could be any kind of gadgets or appliance, including things like TV, AC units, fans, doors, and other physical objects. At the same time, it not only helps people interact with things but also organizations and companies to maintain their business process. Importantly, as the potential of IoT enhances, a large number of business enterprises are realizing (some of them have already started using IoT applications) the need and are trying to learn how to implement this technology. According to research, more than 21 billion things will be connected through the IoT by 2020. In fact, IoT has the power to reincarnate your business. So, my aim here is to help you explore the benefits of IoT applications in business enterprises.
1. Attributes of IoT Applications
IoT applications sync through connected devices and help organizations or business enterprises analyze data and generate insights. When you equip IoT into your business, it aligns with the current and future needs of the organization. Let's check out some of these benefits:
Parallel Device Management
IoT is one of the most popular technologies and has attracted a large number of industries and business enterprises. Some of the top industries, including IBM, Samsung, and others, have already adopted it. IoT technology can be integrated with various devices and enterprise technology infrastructures. The technology required is more flexible, scalable, and tolerable with on-board and off-board devices. That means that it connects two separate things (gadgets) and helps them function seamlessly.
Customized Data Management
Internet of Things (IoT) is a group of devices or system consisting of sensors, actuators, and gateways — just to name a few. These systems function at their level or based on the business infrastructure. However, every system carries out similar tasks, and that is to collect data at different intervals. When you have data, it needs filtration as per the nature of the information; the data must be constantly monitored to create better insight and be processed accurately for an analytical approach. If you leave this kind of data collection entirely upon the workforce, it is going to take a lot of time. IoT can efficiently manage your data without the involvement of manual labor. It not only manages data but also saves the data, which has a longer shelf life for the future.
Everything that connects to the Internet is vulnerable to a hack, and IoT is no exception to that. Even though an IoT platform or application comes enabled with security patches and encryption in its data transmission features, business enterprises should embed IoT security at every level so that no unauthorized person can access or compromise company data.
Scalability for the Future
An IoT platform must provide enterprise-ready devices that can connect through a large number of devices. Besides, it must be scalable and adaptable to the system so that business enterprise goals are met and can generate revenue.
2. IoT Challenges That Business Enterprises Are Facing
Today, when business enterprises and companies are facing immense competition, other challenges are just beneath the surface. If you integrate any connected devices into your business process, you are not going to get rid of them. However, you may come across some new vulnerabilities and challenges that may hinder your ability to satisfy the end user's needs. The fact of the matter is that you can overcome these issues as long as you implement IoT with extreme care. You cannot eliminate all the challenges at once. It requires a lot of precautionary measures to reduce vulnerability. In business, one has to go through various challenges and obstacles to achieve your goals — that's the only way to succeed.
You might be thinking that if there are so many challenges to implementing IoT, then what's the point in using it at all? But the thing is you are bound with the users or consumers' expectations. Their interest level is high, and that's why you need to do so. However, there are ways, which I have suggested in this article, that help you keep IoT systems in your control. So, let's go through some common challenges that you might face so that you and your enterprise can be better prepared.
Security at Stake
IoT is gaining popularity, and so are its security threats. As I have previously discussed, your company's data is at a greater risk of being compromised on IoT devices. However, the more you are prepared, the better it will protect you. That's the simple rule that applies here. Make security a priority from the start of development.
IoT works through remote sensors, and it could make your privacy open to all. Companies and business enterprises do not want devices and things to be accessible to all, or at least to certain people. It could be dangerous and even fatal in medical and assisted-living applications.
Dealing With Complexity
IoT is connected through many devices and all work simultaneously. It raises questions about data collection and its potential issues. However, problems can be solved by implementing a universal software framework that allows flawless connection between the different IoT devices.
Generating Insights May be Tough
At some point in time, it will be complicated to track the precious information gathered by the IoT. The data collection process should be simple and in a form that makes information easy and everyone can understand it.
NOTE: When you integrate high-end technology into your business process, you must prepare yourself to tackle the challenge that comes before you. You will have to learn the technology and understand all pros and cons. Here, the aim is to provide accurate information so that you may easily tackle the situation if it occurs. Again, as mentioned above, any device connected to the Internet is exposed to a cyber attack.
3. Top Features of IoT Platforms
The invention of IoT has one, very positive approach and that is to help companies elevate their business. As IoT platforms enable you to connect assets, gadgets, machinery, and vehicles, you can easily monitor devices and systems remotely. An enterprise-ready IoT solution comes equipped with plenty of components and functionalities that prove its worth all the challenges. Here are some of the top features of IoT platforms that can help your business achieve its goals in a very short span of time.
When you integrate an IoT platform into your business process, it enables real-time monitoring of the assets; processing the products and maintaining the flow turn into fruitful outputs. Real-time monitoring also helps businesses detect issues and take immediate action.
Real-time analytics is the most important feature that allows you to analyze things and take steps accordingly. It showcases live graphical charts and real-time streaming analytics, which gives you a complete overview of everything from performance and production to outputs.
You may be confused here as we have talked a lot about IoT's vulnerabilities, and here again, I am talking about security. You might find it conflicting, but in all such paragraphs, you will find that the cases are different. Here, the IoT platform offers everything that you need to protect data. However, implementation matters. You can manually enable high-end security that won't allow any unauthorized person to compromise with the data. Let's understand the IoT security in points.
- Additional layers of security
- Multi-factor authentication
- TLS to transmit protocols
- Device identity management to access security
IoT applications use various types of protocols that communicate data between different IoT platforms. A strong and powerful IoT communication protocol can let you scale through millions or even billions of devices. Make sure that communication protocols maintain lightweight and low network bandwidth functionality.
Communicate Multiple Devices
One of the best features of an IoT platform is that it supports communication across multiple devices. The configured device then enables you to access reports remotely from anywhere, anytime.
5. All Benefits a Business Organization Can Gain From an IoT Application
So far, I have talked about the virtues, challenges, and features of IoT, and you may have an idea of how it is beneficial for your enterprises. The challenges I have mentioned can be prevented with the right implementation. Now, I will focus on what benefits enterprises can gain from it. Let's explore the top benefits of IoT devices for business enterprises and companies.
An IoT application helps with previous data to explore and predict any future possibilities. The historical data may include the analysis of historical industrial data. Post-operational data is essential for business enterprises to make future predictions and create genuine insights.
Operational analytics helps business owners detect problems in real-time and take immediate action as required. Such things are significant as a little delay, even a fraction of a second would be enough to make a huge difference.
Easily Integrate With the Existing Infrastructure
Integrating IoT with industrial applications can save time. IoT can be built, updated, or upgraded in less time as compared to other industrial applications. Therefore, it also comes with added benefits.
As IoT enables you to browse historical data and complete post-production analysis, it helps you predict any possible breakdowns that might occur in the future and helps you analyze the requirements, equipment, ways to repair, etc.
Many a time, a company's data is lost due to not having a proper monitoring system installed. IoT fulfills this demand and offers uninterrupted monitoring, allowing you to detect any abnormal activities. You get options to prevent them by implementing certain measures.
We have discussed security a lot in this article, and here, again, I am talking about it. IoT offers security at every layer. IoT offers a secure and protected environment that helps you protect your data, smooth workflows, track performance, and much more. More than that, IoT quickly informs you if it detects any suspicious behavior. That's great, isn't it?
6. How IoT Can Reincarnate Your Business
IoT can be revolutionary and may make a huge difference as far as reincarnating your businesses of all types. Here're some of the major benefits that IoT can do for your business.
What would happen if you forgot to turn on the security camera at the plant? With IoT, a simple touch can save you from severe damage that might occur if an employee forgets to turn something on or off. Yes, if the security camera is connected through the IoT platform, you can now turn them on from any location that has Wi-Fi.
Multiple Device Support
You get the freedom to connect an unlimited number of sensors, gadgets, etc. to the IoT. More importantly, it is scalable, and that will help you deploy it as your requirements change.
Manage Things Smartly
You can access your assets remotely and manage and control enterprises without a physical presence. That's a great way to track your assets and get important information remotely.
An IoT helps you centralize business operations and connect employees and staff on a single device or system. Co-ordination means you get a helping hand to improve your business and enhance productivity.
IoT is growing, and it is expected that it will be adopted by a large number of industries in the coming years. Some of the top companies, like Google, Lufthansa, IBM, Intel, Samsung, and Bosch, have already started using IoT. However, one thing I have noticed while writing this article is that security is a a growing concern. It does not mean that other technological applications are safe. No, as I have mentioned, everything that connects to the Internet is vulnerable and can be compromised.
It has rightly been said by Meta S. Brown from Forbes:
"The IoT's value is never greater than what management is prepared to do with it."
Take my advise and implement the IoT in your enterprise today — you will blow the competition away.
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