IoT. Digitalization. Disruption. These are some of the concepts that have been garnering a lot of attention lately. IoT has already begun to disrupt industries. This generation has seen a massive technological revolution. This revolution has and slowly will change how the corporate world works.
What Is IoT?
IoT stands for the Internet of Things. Some definitions make the concept sound far more complex than it is, and people have a habit of over complicating technical terms. But IoT is much more relatable than you think.
In short, IoT is the connectivity of devices, and applications that use software of any kind of electronics that allows the device/application to connect with other devices. They can interact with one another, exchange and collect data using the internet. People are taking this concept and turning any means of devices into IoT devices beyond the standard application that we normally use, like laptops, mobile phones, and televisions.
Your world is heavily connected to the internet. It is internet connectivity that is the heart and soul of IoT and digital innovation. And its integration into everyday objects is completely transforming the way we interact. And that is exactly what IoT is all about. It is about making sure that the world is connected to the internet for all possible aspects.
Industries That IoT Has or Will Disrupt
IoT is now making its impact on various industries as well. Here are the top five that either have been impacted by it or will be in the near future.
Healthcare is a sector that has already started to realize the various benefits of being connected to the internet. There was a time when physicians spent a lot of time accessing and inputting patient data into systems. Now, cloud-based solutions help streamline the process.
They make sure that patient data is accessible across platforms and physical barriers. Now, the chances of giving subpar treatment because of a lack of patient history are low. Why? Because the healthcare provider has everything they need to know. Hence, decisions about treatment are made quickly, as physicians are able to make sure treatments are compatible with previous ones (or current medications).
Cloud-based solutions are not the only thing that IoT has brought to the health sector. The moment something unusual happens, an emergency unit can be notified. For instance, if the BP of the patients is low, a medic will be notified and swift action can be taken. Some places are already doing this, while other hospitals are on the verge of adopting this new “smart” technology.
Retail is a sector that has been severely affected by IoT. There was a time when brick-and-mortar stores were thought to be immune from technological changes. There was no other way for customers to access products other than in-store. Gathering information about customer purchase behavior, inventory management were long and complex procedures.
Ecommerce has changed that. Online stores are springing up, and is slowly taking over. Since most customers are time constrained, they prefer doing their shopping online. And IoT is only making it more streamlined.
It is incredibly easy to send push notifications to customers from your site, hence ensuring that you remain on their mind regardless of where they are. Similarly, inventory management is automated along with different analytics.
But it is not completely over for the in-person retail industry. Traditional retail stores are also benefiting from the change. The cloud-based solutions, including retail POS software, inventory management software and automated checkouts have made traditional outlets digitalized and much easier to manage.
How is IoT disrupting the transport industry currently? Well, at present, there are companies that use sensors in their shipping vehicles that help them monitor the temperature of the vehicle. This, in turn, ensures that the product arrives at the destination in perfect condition.
IoT is yet to fully disrupt the transport industry, but the change is coming and soon. The integration of real-time traffic data with built-in GPS systems in cars showcase what IoT is capable of in the transportation sector. People are notified about which routes to take and which ones to avoid based on real-time traffic updates. This helps ensure public safety.
Intel is also playing a role in guaranteeing public safety. It delivers solutions allowing you to assess driving skills without having to be physically present in the vehicle. It also lets you know the condition of the vehicle and alerts you before changes that might be needed.
IoT can also be used for fuel efficiency. Sensors can be added to public buses and semi-trucks, collecting data on fuel usage to cut down fuel consumption.
There is a lot of potential for IoT in agriculture. According to Business Insider, internet-integrated devices are likely to grow to a whopping 75 million euros in 2020.
How can agriculture use IoT? By connecting farmers to real-time data about weather and previous trends, IoT lets them know when to plant their crops. John Deere is already doing so. It uses sensors that alerts farmers on their potential crop yield if they were to plant crops in the given time period. This feature ensures that they know what time is best to plant their crops and, hence, enhances their revenue and yield.
The more connected the farmers are with various data, the better the chance of a successful and optimized yield.
IoT is enhancing the way that cities function, creating “smart cities”. Smart cities are defined as having internet, connectivity, and digitalization in the heart and soul of a city. Governments are funding smart city initiatives. It is also common for them to encourage innovative startups that help to develop smart cities. The top 50 best startup cities are the ones which have the potential to quickly turn into smart cities.
An example of how IoT has made a difference to cities can be seen in Japan. Sensors that employ IoT are used for an array of purposes, ranging from monitoring buses and bins to automating the transport process. Something as simple as adding sensors to garbage bins is making a huge different. The municipality is then better at detecting which garbage bins need to be emptied. Hence, the cleanliness of the cities is maintained.
While only five industries have been mentioned, many more industries have been disrupted by IoT, or will be disrupted in the future. It is difficult to find an industry that hasn’t been affected by IoT. It is one of the greatest innovations of our time, helping to streamline and deliver convenience and benefits to agriculture, healthcare, and transportation to name a few.
The kind of disruption industries are facing currently is just a teaser of what is to come next. As the digital world becomes more sophisticated and integrated, you can expect IoT to become the driving force behind all industries.
It is the survival of the fittest. All industries that openly welcome the positive effects of IoT will survive. All you need to do is decide whether you want to be on the winning team. Now, that is not a tough decision, is it?