September 12, 2016 Paulina Z

Why it’s too soon to predict the demise of IoT

In early June, Gartner analyst Peter Middleton posed the question: “Is the Internet of Things (IoT) dead?” Since that day, there have been a lot of questions about the viability and the future for IoT with businesses wondering if this sector has overpromised (and will never deliver).

Broken Promises or Opportunities to Come

While the presentation and the death of IoT made headlines, Gartner was quick to point out that despite the pessimism about the future of IoT caused by soft sales and what appears to be waning interest by consumers, the negativity should be short lived.

Gartner’s own research says:

And I agree. IoT isn’t on its deathbed. IoT presents opportunities for businesses and I believe we are at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what connected devices can do for us as consumers and businesses.

 


I think secure, effective device communication is the holy grail many businesses are wrestling with today.


Skynet Look Out

Machine to machine (M2M) communication (and machine learning) are critical elements of any IoT strategy. It’s one thing to have a sensor sending you data, it’s another thing entirely to interpret that data and have automated instantaneous actions based on the information coming in.

It might sound a little like a scene out of Terminator where the machines are talking to one another acting autonomously (and ultimately took over the world) but I’m not proposing Skynet is coming. I’m talking about the important role for solutions that enable IoT devices to talk to each other and provide companies with real-time, actionable information that gives them the tools to respond more quickly, address issues and ultimately save time and money. For IoT to deliver on its promises, there needs to be effective communication between devices and that communication needs to interpreted and acted upon in a way that’s secure.  Unfortunately, IoT innovation isn’t keeping pace with security, leading 71% of executives to believe security is 12 and 24 months behind IoT device deployment.

I think secure, effective device communication is the holy grail many businesses are wrestling with today.

 

Information becomes action

But it’s not all movie fiction.  IoT is already making a significant (and positive) impact. Sensors on a manufacturing line send real-time updates to the operations centre. These data feeds provide an early warning when things like belts are wearing down or components aren’t performing to specs so maintenance can be scheduled before the line goes down completely causing downtime and missed deadlines. Smart buildings technology is helping an Ontario greenhouse operator to automate the opening of windows or closing of curtains in the greenhouses to maintain optimal growing conditions. This solution is not only reducing staffing requirements and water consumption, but has increased yields and profitability. And, for an ice cream franchise, a malfunctioning freezer meant when staff came into the store in the morning, all the produce was melted.  A sensor on the freezers is now connected to software that alerts the owners or managers when temperatures drop above or below optimal levels so they can come in and move product out of the failing unit before it’s too late.


We excel at building custom solutions businesses need, in situations where out of the box isn’t an option because the solution doesn’t exist today.



Making it work

As a software developer, I can tell you IoT is alive and well, and interest in how IoT can be leveraged in a range of different businesses is growing as companies look to make their organizations more responsive and profitable.

As entrepreneurs and established companies move IoT from a cool concept to a business reality, one critically important element is making sure those connections between machines are communicating securely and seamlessly, while making sure that mission critical details are delivered to the right people in the right place at the right time.  That’s where a company like Whitecap comes in.  We excel at building the custom solutions businesses need … particularly in situations where out of the box isn’t an option because the solution doesn’t exist today.

Learn how we can turn an IoT idea into a workable business solution.