The internet of things (IoT) is widely expected to have a paradigm-shifting effect on practically all industries.
According to a recent estimate by IDC, worldwide spending on IoT is expected to hit US$ 745 billion this year and will surpass the US$1 trillion mark by 2022.
The study further notes that the IoT use cases that will see the most significant levels of investment this year are manufacturing operations, production asset management, smart home, and freight monitoring.
However, the technology is not without its flaws. In its current form, IoT posses several significant concerns that could potentially impede its adoption.
And to truly realize all the transformative potential of IoT, stakeholders need to address some of the major issues surrounding the technology.
Here are the three issues (and the solutions):
#1 | Network bandwidth requirements
The very essence of IoT technology is connectivity, and of the two options of wired and wireless connection, it is the latter that most deploying the technology prefers.
And to put things in perspective, over 17 billion devices are already connected to the current networks, and the numbers are expected to increase to more than 55 billion by 2025, severely exhausting network bandwidth capacity.
One possible solution that could remedy the situation is the advent of 5G technology which will provide more bandwidth and unprecedented connection speed.
The connection speed in the 5G era could easily reach 1Gbps for a much lower cost per gigabyte, and with cellular technologies such as NB-IoT and Cat-M1 taking off, bandwidth issues could potentially be resolved.
Further, deploying the limited-range connectivity such as Bluetooth or Zigbee for applications in condensed spaces could also alleviate some of the load off the traditional network in the short term.
#2 | Cybersecurity concerns
Much has been said about cybersecurity concerns within IoT as the growing number of connected devices means increased, scattered endpoints which indicate bigger threat surface.
Hackers and bad actors could potentially take control or use these IoT devices with limited security measures to infiltrate enterprise networks to steal valuable data or install ransomware.
And thus, falling short of deploying smarter IoT devices with more sophisticated operations systems – which may not be cost effective – organizations must embed more security features within the IoT network.
Companies could security stringent security measures to overcome this issue. Starting with device authentication, allowing only endpoints with proper credential into the network, end-to-end encryption protocols, implementing network layering and using VPN are all viable solutions.
In addition, deploying AIOPs (artificial intelligence for IT operations) that provides IT departments with an in-depth look into how IoT devices behave and interact within a network, network services, and other related application, should also help in monitoring threats.
#3 | Data and storage capacity
IoT technology will produce unprecedented amounts of data. This is after all why companies deploy them in the first place, to continually gather data for surveillance, automation, and insights.
And thus, companies need to prepare for the onslaught of data by increasing the server capacity and deploy appropriate tools to analyze these data to gain valuable information from it quickly.
Besides, by deploying edge computing, IT departments may be able to sieve through the data and only allow user data to reach their data centers.
But either way, for a robust deployment of IoT platforms, companies may need to deploy a combination of micro-data centers, traditional data centers as well as cloud-based resources.