Article Synopsis :
The internet of things (IoT) is developing fast. However, the irony is that one of the things holding it back is technology.
Things are getting better, however, and this paper identifies five areas of progress – Deloitte calls them ‘vectors’, but each to their own – that it says will help businesses optimise their investments.
Each addresses an important element of IoT adoption, and though not universal, will together help to drive the implementation of this technology.
Old school IoT used to be susceptible to hacking, but new and better hardware is helping to secure devices, while machine learning is improving the security of the networks they operate on.
IoT networks have proved difficult, as traditional IT networks simply don’t understand them and didn’t recognise the threats lurking within.
However, networks designed for IoT are now available and use machining learning to watch over devices and identify where breaches might occur.
IoT platforms are making it easier for a company to deploy solutions and software makes it easier to integrate hardware, networks and applications.
The last couple of years has seen IoT platforms building out their partner ecosystems and can now point to each having dozens of major venture partners. Their time has well and truly come.
Applications continue to proliferate which integrate sensors, devices, analytics and the various elements required to make complete solutions.
The market has developed to the extent that IoT is available as a turnkey operation.
3) Low-cost, power-efficient networks
Another proliferation is in the provision of low powered wide area networks (LPWANs), which is essential for a market that relies on batteries to power sensors and covers huge geographical areas.
More than 40 LPWANs have been launched by mobile telecom companies cover more than 100 countries across the world. Batteries powering these are cheap – as little as $3 annually and can last years.
Availability has reduced their cost and this aids Implementation. LPWANs are proving highly influential in the adoption of IoT devices to monitor capital assets in smart cities, smart utilities and smart agriculture.
4) Artificial intelligence
AI and machine learning are increasingly being used to analyse data being generated by IoT devices. Self-learning not only offers insights into process optimisation, predictive maintenance, dynamic routing and scheduling.
This has applications across engineering such as aircraft maintenance by monitoring engine performance, agriculture through analysis of weather and healthcare by monitoring vital signs.
5) Analytics on the edge
Though cloud is a major component of digital transformation, data is also being processed on the ‘edge’, on local servers, data centre and even the very devices being used to gather the data.
Product launches associated with edge computing increased by more than 30% in 2018. Edge removes latency from the processing and this allows for real-time alerts that can improve operational safety and performance in a number of settings.
Processing at the edge also reduces the cost of data transmission and storage.
These five vectors are already reducing risk in healthcare and banking, improving operational costs in mining and energy and enhancing service delivery in retail and utilities.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsThe internet of things (IoT) isn’t just a nice idea or a gimmick any more, it is actually a “thing”.
Though it has connotations of Big Brother and the invasion of consumer privacy, the ability to deliver meaningful real-time decisions that improve customer experience and even save lives will go a long way to establishing IoT at the heart not only of the insurance industry but society as a whole.
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