There was a time when a phone with the ability to do more than make calls was a novel idea. Today, it’s not unusual to see everything from smart watches to cars parking themselves. This increasing prevalence of interconnected technology has given rise to a world ruled by devices and data.
Known as the Internet of Things (IoT), this unprecedented level of connectivity means businesses are continually collecting information, and you’re contributing to this Big Data trend in ways of which you may not even be aware.
Smart devices are taking over homes, making their way into cars and riding around on the wrists of consumers, collecting and delivering data in endless streams. Every time you interact with a device, you’re giving companies information about your preferences and habits. What you see as a convenience has become an indispensable marketing tool for businesses. Big Data is what powers the seamless integration of shopping experiences across channels, and the connectedness of IoT ensures you have access to the same information no matter what type of device you’re using to interact with the world around you.
The New Way to Shop
IoT technology is changing routines in ways never before imagined. You no longer have to run to the store to replenish household essentials because smart appliances are designed to order more of the products you use most when they sense supplies are running low. Apps on your Smartphone and tablet can create grocery lists based on the recipes you’ve been browsing, and your washing machine can alert the manufacturer when maintenance is required.
Every interaction in the complex IoT web is tracked, contributing more information to the growing repository of Big Data. Companies can now take this information and analyze it to create experiences based on specific behaviors and preferences. The resulting marketing campaigns create a sense of individuality meant to keep you engaged with brands at all times.
A Boon for Brands?
Since every device in the IoT landscape sends an astonishing amount of raw data in real time, companies are handling more information than ever. New strategies are required to compete in a changing market, including adopting a single streamlined platform for handling the influx. It remains to be seen whether information provided by the growing Big Data craze will help companies gain and retain clients or create a situation in which personalization is pursued to the detriment of more important business goals.
IoT Security: Cloud-Based Data
Most Big Data information is stored remotely in the cloud for easy access. Along with an unknown number of diverse devices connecting to a variety of networks at any given time, this feature of IoT presents unique challenges for data security experts. The sheer volume of personal information collected from devices could be a treasure trove for identity thieves. Hacked devices can threaten whole networks, and network attacks can damage devices. With these concerns in mind, companies are working with security professionals to develop protective strategies and address the unique concerns of today’s connected world.
With some estimates predicting anywhere between 30 and 50 billion connected devices in use by 2020, the interplay of IoT and Big Data is only going to become more complicated. Consumers and brands will need to learn how to handle the transfer of data with prudence and decide when the personalization of experiences becomes more surreal than useful. Whether you’ve connected your whole life or are sticking with just a few favorite devices, the growth of IoT has the potential to transform the way you experience the world.