The term IoT or the Internet of Things is everywhere right now. According to the IDC’s latest report the IoT market is expected to be $1.3 trillion by 2020. But what is IoT and crucially, how can it help your business?
What is IoT?
The Internet of Things is the network of devices such as vehicles, and home appliances that contain electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which allows these things to connect, interact and exchange data.
How does it work?
At it’s most basic level, IoT encapsulates everything that is connected to the internet. Where it gets interesting is that these connected devices, which can be anything from a smartphone to a simple sensor embedded on an object, can talk to each other over the internet, feeding data and instructions back and forth. So by implementing automated systems these devices or sensors can gather information, analyse that information and then create an action.
IoT isn’t one “thing.” It’s about an ecosystem of things or devices, the data and insights they generate, and the opportunity to take action based on the analysis of those insights.
Things: Build, manage, and monitor a network of physical objects by adding sensors and creating smart devices.
Insights: Collect data from your network and use advanced analytics to uncover new business insights and opportunities.
Action: Predict needs before they arise and act with precision based on unprecedented insights from your IoT network.
What can IoT do?
A simple example is the UK governments drive for smart meters in homes. Some of these devices let us turn on the heating remotely, or they can be programmed to automatically turn the heating off if you’re not at home. This information can be gathered from sensors in the house, or even through your phone’s location.
In terms of business applications, back in April 2018 Microsoft announced that it will invest $5 billion in the Internet of Things over the next four years. Microsoft is focused on powering the business revolution through its Azure IoT suite of products, giving businesses the opportunity to transform with connected solutions. That can be as simple as a trucking company’s effort to automate maintenance of its vehicles or as complex as an enterprise-wide endeavour to collect, integrate and organise sensor data from remote equipment across global supply chains.
How do I get started?
If you want to find out more about how IoT could help your business, a great starting point is to read through some of Microsoft’s success stories. We defy you not to be inspired by the huge scope for transformation within your business using IoT. Or get in touch with us for a no obligation chat about the possibilities.