Internet of Things

Deloitte's 5 vectors of progress prove IoT is a solid investment

Considerable improvements in technology are bolstering the Internet of Things (IoT), according to Deloitte, and business leaders should take notice.

While business spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) is already growing, companies often face an uphill battle with the technology, said Deloitte in their Wednesday IoT report. However, with technology steadily improving in five major areas, many obstacles in IoT adoption are falling to the wasteside.

These innovations are leading to an even greater influx of IoT company spending. In fact, businesses are projected to spend nearly $15 billion on systems integration and IT consulting for IoT, said the report. All major markets—consumer, enterprise/industrial, and services/public sector—can create unique value in investing in IoT, according to the report.

SEE: Enterprise IoT research: Uses, strategy, and security (Tech Pro Research)

Here are the five vectors of IoT improvement:

1. Security

Early IoT devices didn't have the battery or computing power necessary to run most cybersecurity protections, leaving the technology vulnerable to a cyberattack, according to the report. But new, low-power hardware products embed security protections directly into IoT devices, the report noted, as well as use machine learning to monitor intrusions.

2. Platforms

With new IoT platforms—software that integrates IoT hardware, networks, and applications—IoT solutions are much easier for companies to deploy, said the report. Platform providers even claim getting clients' IoT functionality up and running in a matter of weeks.

3. Low-cost, power-efficient networks

For IoT applications that use battery-powered sensors and reach over large geographical areas, low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) are a crucial innovation, said the report. LPWANs provide companies connectivity at a lower cost and at lower power requirements. Deloitte emphasized the usefulness of LPWAN networks in adopting IoT devices in condition-based monitoring and optimization of smart cities, smart utilities, and smart agricultural projects.

4. Artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies like computer vision and machine learning are helpful in studying IoT-generated data and automation operational decision making, said the report. Almost all IoT platform vendors offer AI capabilities with their services, enhancing the value and capabilities of IoT. With AI, IoT can be used in processing optimization, predictive maintenance, dynamic routing, scheduling, and security, said the report.

5. Analytics on the 'edge'

IoT-generated data analysis isn't occurring much on the cloud, but on a network "edge," or in close physical proximity to where the data is created—local server, micro data centers, or on the device, said the report. Data analysis at the edge avoids delays associated with transferring data between sensors and cloud-based applications. Lower latency makes alerts and insights immediate, improving the overall performance of the business, according to the report. Even AI technology is entering edge devices, which could limit dependency on unreliable networks in remote areas.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Businesses are projected to spend nearly $15 billion on systems integration and IT consulting for IoT. — Deloitte, 2018.
  • Improvements in vectors like security, AI, analytics, networking, and platforms make IoT a safer and more reliable tool for businesses. — Deloitte, 2018.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/metamorworks

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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