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May 29, 2018
Why is IoT (Internet of Things) revolutionary?
Michael Grant

Over the past decade many new technologies have been hyped up as being ‘the next great thing’, but more often than not, the expectations were not well-founded. That’s why it’s easy to understand the reservations about the concept of the ‘Internet of Things’ coming from some corners of the IT community, even if all signs are pointing towards a rapidly impending dramatic breakthrough. The practical value of IoT-based systems goes beyond simple task performance and extends into the realm of long term planning.

Let’s examine some of the reasons why IoT stands a better chance of revolutionising many spheres of public life and business operations:

Looking beyond the catchy name

If we examine what IoT really is, we will discover the name can be a little misleading. The analogy with the internet goes only so far, leaving a layer of functionality poorly explained. Rather than just establishing a network between inanimate objects, IoT is more akin to putting a digital interface or a digital twin on the physical world. It’s not about connecting objects, it’s about empowering people to have better control of their real-world environment and that’s something practically every organisation has a good use for.

Universal compatibility

Well designed IoT networks are capable of linking a wide variety of devices and software components into a fully integrated system. Unified control of diverse resources eliminates compatibility issues and allows for far better planning and operational management, while reducing the initial investment for system implementation. Systems of this kind typically rely on cloud infrastructure and standard protocols to pass information from one end of the network to another, which makes adding new assets a routine task that doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge.

Unlimited customisation potential

When we talk about automated asset management systems, we actually try to describe a range of unique solutions tailor-made to serve a particular purpose. IoT systems can be shaped in any way that suits the owner, with functions developed specifically to address day-to-day issues the organisation has to deal with. Basic hardware and software components may be standardised, but they can be combined in practically unlimited number of alignments. This feature ensures that IoT solutions are applicable in a wide range of fields, and flexible enough to adapt to various challenges as they arise.

Online communication has transformed almost every business vertical, but its role is limited in industries such as manufacturing or warehousing where physical objects play a central role. IoT technologies represent ‘the missing link’ that can extend the usefulness of the digital world into those areas, allowing remote interaction with any item. By adopting this technology, businesses can pull off a rare feat, ensuring higher productivity while simultaneously cutting costs. It may be true that companies in many sectors remain cautious about such investments, but they are likely to change their minds once they realise the maths.

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