When the ARPANET , generally regarded as the forerunner of the internet with its WAN ideology and the precursor of the Internet of Things (IoT) was invented in the mid-sixties, no one would have imagined the potential it carried or the exponential growth it would spur, let alone the innumerable offshoots that it would produce. The arrival of computers and early networks came soon thereafter, followed by the internet as we know it today, invented by Tim Berners-Lee in the late eighties. 3 decades later it is now a given that all things digital will get progressively upgraded, phased out, and almost always be replaced by higher-end technology and media, that guarantee faster and more effective networking and access/reach over the internet.
New technologies and media bring with them new opportunities for business in the ever-growing Information Technology landscape.
The Internet of Things is one such opportunity.
The Internet of Things is a term used to describe the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet .
It ranks as one of the most significant technological achievements of the century, with all-pervasive reach. Today thanks to its technologies, media, and devices are connecting people, processes, and things, with seamless and borderless communication over the internet. Such is the reach that it is impossible to imagine an area of our lives that has not been touched by it – vehicles, appliances, learning, health, and travel to name just a few.
Helping spur its growth in technological terms has been such developments as cloud computing, big data, analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), mobile technologies etc, which help drive data sharing and analysis using machine intelligence as opposed to human intervention.
IoT Architecture comprises 3 layers .
- The first is a physical layer comprising the smart device or the sensor that can generate, receive, process, store and transmit data.
- The second is the edge-computing layer built into the smart device that allows for network interaction using a permitted communication protocol. Computing is done at the ‘edge’ rather than on distant servers
- The third layer is the cloud which comprises the application that facilitates analyses of the data generated
The rise and rise of IoT
IoT has lived up to its ‘hype’, a term used by Gartner to describe it in its early days, in 2011. In 2021, IoT technology was at work in over 35 billion devices, with experts predicting this number will grow to 75 billion by 2025 , with as many as 127 devices being powered up every second. The IoT market is an adequate reflection of this humungous growth. In 2021, its market value stood at USD 124 billion, with the figure expected to rise to USD 1.1 trillion by 2030. . It is estimated that over 90% of all businesses worldwide and 80% of all industrial manufacturing businesses will adopt IoT technology.
As IoT technology continues to gallop, more areas of everyday life are getting covered. Smart cities, logistics, and supply chains, vehicles, power grids, safety, instrumentation and control systems, etc are just a few examples. Its impact on the IT sector has resulted to a very large extent in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service).
It has found a niche in industrial sectors as well with instrumentation and DCS systems, leading to the coining of the new phrase Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Machine to Machine (M2M) communication using wireless protocol and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are already at work in many applications, bringing benefits of accuracy, speed, better analysis, and lower operational costs over an extended period.
The creation of a list of industries that can benefit from its technologies is, in all reality, a superfluous exercise. Already a host of sectors including the leading ones like Manufacturing, Academia and Health are intensive users. Hundreds of other industries and sectors are also using AI-driven tools that are the hallmark of IoT. Human beings are not far behind organizations. From mobile devices to vehicles and smart home devices, IoT devices are already playing an integral part in the daily life of humans.
The benefits it offers:
- More accurate analyses of data
- Machine-driven learning and efficiencies
- Wide applications
- Faster processing and responses
- Lower costs
- Predictive analyses
- Greater safety
Adopting IoT technologies needs a study of the areas in which its technologies can be adopted effectively. In general, the major areas to be evaluated would be  :
- Study and analysis of the organization’s business process and areas that might be considered for phase-wise adoption
- Selection of the right hardware platforms
- Planning for data collection, storage, and management
- Security protocols
- Sustainability of the system especially considering that it needs round-the-clock powering
It will not take a clairvoyant to tell us that IoT will continue to see unprecedented growth in the years to come. The numbers speak for themselves. From just 1 million devices  connected to the internet in 1992 (the early years) , the number now stands at 35 billion devices, making it an average of 5 devices per person for our 7 billion population. The number is expected to grow to a staggering 75 billion by 2025, a whopping 5x increase since 2015.
Market values too are predicted to show unprecedented growth. McKinsey in a recent report[7} has updated their findings on the IoT market, projecting the 2025 market to have a value somewhere between USD 2.8 and 6.5 trillion and the 2030 market between USD 5.5 to 12.6 trillion.
The manufacturing and health sectors are projected to see the highest spends.
With Gartner  projecting a phenomenal CAGR growth rate of around 30% in the 5-year period up to 2025, it is foreseen that its technologies will also witness further evolution in the coming periods. TechAheadCorp  foresees the following trends soon, with some of them already in an advanced stage of development.
- 5G integration to enhance the capabilities of all IoT devices to provide ‘lightning speed’ between data to cloud servers
- A single interface for users as opposed to multiple logins in the present Identity Access Management (IAM) scenario
- Multi-level privacy and security for IoT endpoints to protect data and resist cyber attacks
- Evolution of a services ecosystem for data analysis and insights, with companies providing data services, including IoT consultancy
Its growth and spread is expected to especially impact the manufacturing, health, smart city, smart home device and car industries, amongst others. It seems likely too that despite endpoint security being stepped up, notably in such areas as smarter routers which bear the brunt of edge data exchange, cybercrime will also increase. Governments are sure to increase legislation to counter the threat.
IoT is poised to be a further game-changer in the world of tomorrow with blazing computing and access speeds. Accompanying this will be the challenges for the cybersecurity world as the possibility of data breaches will also increase, despite stepped-up countermeasures.
Aurora IT with its existing suite of cybersecurity services, and track record of creating winning solutions, can help organizations negotiate the threats of the emerging IoT scenario. For more information and an appointment, click here.