The buzz around the Internet of things (IoT) is as alive now as it was a decade ago when the concept first captured the attention of the entire tech world. Connecting objects from the most trivial ones like a juice packet to automobiles, IoT has the potential to impact the world in exactly the same way the internet did.
Realizing this, corporates are heavily investing in IoT; for instance, Microsoft has announced its plan to invest $5 billion over the next five years. It is also estimated that the world spending on IoT would reach a whopping $772.5 billion in 2018. While technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) have generated immense interest currently and will undoubtedly have a revolutionizing impact in future, IoT is the key towards ensuring a complete digital transformation for AI to unleash its true potential.
Hence, connectedness will unarguably be the biggest thing in the near future, where things like smart clothes, smart appliances or connected vehicles become the defining elements of the modern world.
While IoT can open up a plethora of opportunities, implementing the concept on the existing objects for smart interaction is not an easy task. Many commercial companies fail to properly comprehend the complexity involved in IoT and in a survey conducted by Cisco; it was found that 75% of the startups in IoT fail to succeed.
Lack of internal expertise and improper IoT integration were among the reasons cited for the failure rate. This does not come surprisingly since IoT comprises a wide domain of fields such as embedded software development, app development, analytics, hardware development and etc. As a result, there is a huge lack of relevant IoT skills, this in turn slows down the pace of IoT development. Additionally, there are other challenges such as security, hardware and connectivity that hinder its development. A brief look at these challenges can be instructive:
Security is one of the most significant challenges in IoT. As internet forms the backbone of the IoT network, it is vulnerable to hacking and other cyber attacks. With IoT’s applications permeating into homes and other personal spaces, connected devices can become the easiest target for spying on people.
While companies are looking to capture the market with innovative gadgets by rolling them out before their competitors, the issues of security are often neglected in the rush. However, the reality of the flaws in IoT’s security must be recognized and the 2016 Dyn cyber attack should serve as a reminder of the vulnerability posed by IoT.
If IoT devices experience issues relating to connectivity, such as latency or poor network reception, the whole purpose of employing IoT becomes futile. Connectivity and transmission of data in real-time is the essence of IoT.
Its value lies in its ability to connect devices and provide useful insights into the front-end which was previously not possible. This becomes a great challenge in cases where a large number of devices are employed, such as sensors in oil rigs or in places that require extensive monitoring. In addition, decentralizing the data processing in such a network is essential because, in the event of a server breakdown, the entire network becomes unavailable which again understates the purpose of IoT.