What is the Internet of Things (IoT)

Smartly connected devices, ubiquitous wireless connectivity and scalable cloud-based computing have created the Internet of Things (IoT) platform. These IoT platforms allow organizations to monitor, control, optimize and automate their operations in ways previously unimaginable. In many industries, IoT disrupts traditional business models, prompting companies to ask the basics.

This leads many private and public organizations to ask how they can use IoT to create new sources of value. Some use it to deliver new operational efficiencies. Remote asset management allows organizations to track assets in real time and make much more efficient use of their field teams. Predictable maintenance reduces downtime by replacing parts before they fail. Real-time analysis helps employees make better decisions. And smart IoT systems can automate repetitive and predictable processes.

IoT systems

The Internet of Things extends Internet connectivity beyond traditional devices such as desktops and laptops, smartphones and tablets to a wide range of devices and everyday things that use integrated technology to communicate and interact with the external environment, all over the Internet.

But currently, there is a vast array of technology out there that can be accurately described as activating IoT. Right at the network level, there are Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, ZigBee, RFID, Wi-Fi, mobile, Z-Wave, 6LowPAN, threaded, NFC, Sigfox, Neul, LoRaWAN, Alljoyn, IoTivity, Weave, Homekit, MQTT, CoAP, JSON- LD, and much more that can and can play a role in IoT deployments.

IoT applications

IoT systems have application development across industries through their unique flexibility and ability to be suitable in any environment. They improve data collection, automation, operation and more through smart devices and powerful enabling technology.

IoT is everywhere, but there are definitely a few verticals where it is more prevalent. Heavy industry is arguably the sector that has worked with IoT concepts for the longest time thanks to SCADA and robotics, and it has its own subspecies of IoT – industrial IoT, or often just IIoT. Sharing data for maintenance and operational purposes makes industrial equipment much more responsive and useful and also creates a much safer work environment.

IoT security

IoT security is the endeavor that deals with protecting connected devices and networks on the Internet of Things (IoT). The first thing that comes to mind for most when thinking about IoT security is encryption. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry, you’re not completely wrong. Encryption is an important component of security, but it is only part of the whole story. However, encryption does not provide security in the way most people tend to think.

Security, like most things, has a curve of declining return on cost. What IoT requires is a good balance between reasonably strong security measures that are economically and massively scalable. The first major problem is that a compromised IoT device can sometimes offer a way into a corporate network for a malicious actor. A poorly secured smart TV, a security camera – all that accesses the network is a potential vector for an attack.

IoT interoperability

The full benefits of the Internet of Things are realized only when a large enough number of devices are able to interact with each other – and therein lies a major problem. The number of different players in the market covers a wide range, both horizontally, in terms of functionality and vertically between different industries.

With a large number of companies “doing IoT,” – most big name companies, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, Intel and IBM, have different types of IoT games – all working to bring in as many users as possible in their respective ecosystems, motivation to ensure that IoT systems and devices from different companies all work together.

IoT platforms

One IoT device connects to another to transmit information using Internet transfer protocols. IoT platforms act as the bridge between the device sensors and the data network.

The following are some of the best IoT platforms on the market today:

Amazon Web Services

Microsoft Azure

ThingWorx IoT platform

IBM’s Watson

Cisco IoT Cloud Connect

Salesforce IoT Cloud

Oracle Integrated Cloud

GE Predix