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Reasons to believe -- or not believe -- in IoT

After so many years evangelizing and developing IoT, it is hard to believe that today there are as many defenders as there are critics of this technology. Why does doubt still assail the IoT market and what’s the reason for saying every year that the time for IoT is finally now?

Despite IoT’s power of change that involved connected devices pervading homes, cities, transportation and business, IoT continues to garner many non-believers. It is possible that the expectations in 2013 were so great that in 2021, many IT professionals need more tangible and realistic data and facts to continue believing in IoT.

Below are some reasons to both believe and not believe in the power of IoT.

Reasons to believe in IoT

  1. Research institutions such as McKinsey, Gartner and Harbor Research have presented data that provides a look at new opportunities within the IoT market. For example, McKinsey estimated a potential economic impact as much as 11 trillion new IoT applications per year in 2025 in 9 settings. In addition, the total number of businesses that use IoT technologies has increased from 13% in 2014 to 25% in 2020. And the number of worldwide IoT devices is projected to increase to 43 billion by 2023, an almost threefold increase from 2018, according to McKinsey research. In 2018, Gartner predicted that by 2021 there will be over 25 billion live IoT endpoints that will allow unlimited number of IoT use cases. Harbor Research also considers the market opportunity for IIoT and Industry 4.0 as emerging. IoT solutions are not completely new but are evolving from the convergence of existing technologies. In addition, creative combinations of these technologies will drive many new growth opportunities.
  1. Lack of regulation is one of the biggest issues associated with IoT devices. However, things are starting to change in that regard. The U.S. government was among the first to take the threat posed by unsecured IoT devices seriously, introducing several IoT-related bills in Congress over the last couple of years. It all began with the IoT Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2017, which set minimum security standards for connected devices obtained by the government. This legislation was followed by the SMART IoT Act, which tasked the Department of Commerce with conducting a study of the current IoT industry in the U.S.
  1. IoT supported by artificial intelligence enhances considerably the success of everyday applications. with dominant one’s enterprise, transportation, robotics, industrial, and automation systems applications.
  2. IoT sensors are everywhere: in cars, electronic appliances and traffic lights. IoT sensors will help cities map air quality, identify high-pollution pockets and trigger alerts if pollution levels rise dangerously, all while tracking changes over time and taking preventive measures to correct the situation.

Thanks to IoT, connected cars will now communicate seamlessly with IoT sensors and find empty parking spots easily. Sensors in cars can also communicate with GPS and the manufacturer’s system, making maintenance and driving a breeze. City sensors will identify high-traffic areas and regulate traffic flows by updating the GPS with alternate routes.

These IoT sensors can also identify and repair broken streetlamps. IoT will be the world’s knight in shining, preventing accidents such as floods, fires and even road accidents. IoT sensors will also help medical professionals monitor pulse rates, blood pressure and other vitals more efficiently, while triggering alerts in case of emergencies.

In addition, household items such as washing machines, refrigerators and air-conditioners will self-monitor their usage, performance and servicing requirements, while triggering alerts before potential breakdowns and optimizing performance with automatic software updates.

Reasons to not believe in IoT

  1. Government and enterprises across the globe are rolling out IoT projects, but almost three-fourths of them fail, impacted by factors such as culture and leadership, according to Cisco. Businesses spent $745 billion worldwide on IoT hardware and software in 2019 alone. However, three out of every four IoT implementations are failing.
  2. About 60% of IoT initiatives get stalled at the proof of concept (POC) stage. If the right steps aren’t taken in the beginning, businesses can get caught between the dream of what IoT could do for their business and the reality of today’s ROI.
  3. IoT security continues to be a concern. SonicWall Capture Labs 2019 annual report found that over 200,000 malicious events indicated that 217.5 percent increase in IoT attacks in 2018.
  4. There are several obstacles businesses face, including calculating and realizing ROI from IoT. Very few companies can quantify pre-IoT costs. The instinct is to stop calculating after establishing the cost impact on the layer of operations immediately adjacent to the potential IoT project.  For example, when quantifying the baseline cost of reactive — versus predictive or prescriptive — maintenance, many businesses only include down time for unexpected outages. Most do not consider reduced life of the machine, maintenance overtime, lost sales due to long lead times and supply chain volatility risk for spare parts.
  5. Though security continues to be a concern for IoT, privacy is another area most IoT devices lack development. Businesses do not expect to make a big profit on IoT devices themselves. The true profit in IoT is in big data. And both businesses and consumers do not want to expose their sensitive data to IoT devices, especially if they are unsecured.
  6. IoT lacks an interoperable technology ecosystem. The IoT market contains a plethora of IoT vendors, both large and small. These vendors are jumping into the fray and trying to establish a foothold in the IoT market in hopes of either creating their own ecosystem for startups or extending their existing one for the behemoths.
  7. IoT is plagued by digital fatigue. As more technologies, such as AI, Blockchain, 5G, AR and VR, collaborate with IoT technologies, businesses are having a tough time keeping up.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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