The Internet of Things is changing and improving our lives and work in more ways that you might realize. From tracking heart rates, monitoring machines on the shop floor controlling devices at the home or office, to sensing changes in an environment, IoT is revolutionizing the way we interact with the world around us.
There were around 500 million devices connected to the Internet in 2003. Jump to 2010 and, with the advent of smartphones, the number of connected devices increased to 12.5 billion. Research and advisory company Gartner, Inc. predicts this number will increase by the year 2020 to 20 billion devices. Most of these connected devices will be generating data. And when analyzed properly, this data can help companies make better business decisions, improve customer experience, reduce operational costs, and create new revenue opportunities.
So you see Internet of Things has so much potential to change the future of any company, making it necessary for companies to implement IoT, especially the ones which want to get more out of their physical assets and stay ahead of the competition.
To reap the benefits of Internet of Things, companies have to implement it the right way by first overcoming roadblocks then preparing a perfect IoT roadmap which can help them avoid loss of productivity or resources.
Let’s look at some of the most significant IoT challenges facing companies today.
Cultural Change Across an Organization
IoT implementation not only requires a significant investment in new infrastructure and processes, but it changes work culture and thinking. Employees need to get rid of traditional ways of doing things and start thinking differently to support company-wide IoT initiatives. This is the first and foremost challenge that a company has to deal with and is often the most difficult one to overcome.
Integrating New Technologies into Existing Environments
In IoT, data capture occurs via sensors which, when connected to IoT gateways, collect and transmit data to the cloud. In industries like manufacturing, a lot of legacy machines are present without the required sensors, making IoT implementation difficult. These legacy machines need to be retrofitted to bring IoT capabilities.
Data Security Issues
The security of data is the biggest concern. Lately, IoT devices are more frequently becoming targets for hackers and cyberterrorists. Companies need to put in measures to avoid data theft. For example, when two devices connect they must authenticate, and data must be encrypted. Multi-layer protection and continuous monitoring is a prerequisite of any IoT solution. This phase of security planning, which defines various data-related security policies, is critical.
Increased Power Consumption & Bandwidth
When a multitude of devices are connected and communicating with one another, with frequent signaling and data transmission, power consumption increases, and battery-operated devices drain quickly. Another concern is the increased bandwidth requirement when thousands of devices are communicating over wireless networks.
Protocols are Not Standardized
One of the major challenges in implementing Internet of Things is the extensive number of protocols. From the wireless protocols like ZigBee, RFID, Bluetooth and BACnet to next generation protocol standards, each protocol has its own set of pros and cons. And since there is no common standard, companies first have to analyze and identify the right protocol for each use case. Then select technologies, which work well with their overall platform. This is crucial for the successful implementation of IoT.
High Cost of IoT Implementation
The key to IoT security is a good hardware foundation consisting of a lot of smart sensors, connected gateways, and other cloud-connection electronics. All this will account for a large portion of the operating cost. In addition, skilled personnel for managing IoT implementation projects will also come at a higher price. But the right personnel can make or break your IoT implementation project. The cost of training existing employees for the management of IoT will also need to be factored in.
A company may face some challenges in IoT implementation; however, these roadblocks can be dealt with and eliminated with a well-planned and defined IoT implementation roadmap, which we are going to discuss in the next part.
So stay tuned!!
Thors’ Internet of Things Course helps learners understand the fundamental concepts and terminology associated with modern internet of things (IoT).