The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most exciting areas of development in the context of enterprise technology right now. Every expectation is that the number of connected ‘things’ around the world will increase dramatically over the course of the next five years and beyond.
However, while there are clearly a great many ways in which the growth of IoT could be good for businesses, there are some significant challenges to be faced as well. Here we’ll take a look at three of the most crucial considerations for companies and large organisations when it comes to connected things and IoT.
1 – Privacy
A key reason why IoT is such a growth area at present is the prospect for businesses of having access to great swathes of data on individuals and groups of consumers. Through the use of wearable devices and exercise apps, for example, or via internet-connected domestic appliances, companies are set to learn a great deal about everyday habits and usage patterns among their customers.
The flip side of this though is that consumers might, quite naturally, feel concerned that information about them and the things they do might be sold, misused or stolen without their knowledge. Therefore, it will be very important for enterprises getting involved in IoT to consider how they will look to safeguard consumer data and use it in ways that don’t cause alarm among consumers.
2 – Security
Security is clearly a very high profile concern among enterprises looking to invest in IoT innovations for operational purposes. In fact, fears over the issue are currently the foremost impediment to investment in the field.
Data breaches are on the rise around the world and high profile hackings can be a cause of major embarrassment and reputational damage. The use of IoT technologies generates so much data that companies are understandably worried that they might become more vulnerable to security breaches that cause serious problems.
There is little doubt, therefore, that companies looking to exploit the benefits of IoT and the data it generates will need as well to consider a raft of compliance issues at every step and treat security as a top priority at all times.
3 – Skills gaps
A third issue that is already causing concern in certain quarters and which could be another potential hindrance to the progress of IoT technology is the relative lack of skilled professionals who are experts in the field. Initially at least, it is perhaps inevitable that companies will struggle to fill every role they have relating directly to IoT but in the longer term there are other issues to consider.
Learning on the job might be a suitable approach when it comes to figuring out new ways of deploying IoT data for strategic gain. But the potential consequences for companies of dropping the ball when it comes to security and privacy in the field mean the world will need many more IT professionals with directly relevant expertise in years to come.
Despite these challenges, the stage is set for all manner of new ‘things’ to be connected to the internet and each other and to start providing usable data in years to come. In fact, there’s every reason to think it won’t be long before there are more connected things than people on our planet.
All of which equates to a whole lot of data and the potential benefits for businesses are incredible but there is also a clear imperative for the key issues of privacy, security and skillsets to be addressed along the way.
This article was written by Keith Tully from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.