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Back to Basics - Internet of Things (IoT) Explained

Posted by Ho Nguyen

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Internet of Things (IoT) is not a new concept. The term is believed to be invented way back when the internet was introduced. Nowadays, the IoT is an umbrella term representing any device that has the ability to connect, or disconnect, to the Internet. Examples of IoT applications can range from household appliances, wearable devices to aeroplanes, etc.

Read more: ASEAN IT trends 2017 review - Cloud computing, IoT and more

What is Internet of Things (IoT)?

What Internet of Things (IoT) can do for us?

According to Gartner, by 2020, there will be more than 26 billion devices have access to the Internet. As mentioned above, the IoT is like a giant net where “things” (people-people, people-machine, machine-machine) can connect to each other.

Infographic: GE vs Siemens for the Industrial Internet of Things

This giant network of connections allows you to do many things. Smart cars or smart houses are the perfect examples. Imagine you are waking up and your alarm already notified the coffee machine to start brewing, the curtains are pulled, and the shower is ready for you. Or you may be late for work due to traffic congestion, your smart car immediately sends out notifications to your managers or find the best route to avoid the problem.

On a larger scale, when technologies have developed enough, it transforms cities into smart cities to combat issues such as energy inefficiency and waste management. When it comes to the benefits of IoT in our daily lives, the possibilities are endless.

Read more: Disruptive technologies - Definition, impact, and applications

Should we concern about being able to have 24/7 connection?

The ability to connect to data anytime, anywhere has its own pros and cons, and data security is certainly a big concern among many IT personnel as well as the general public. Billions of devices are being connected, data are constantly uploaded and shared every second, how can we be so sure our personal data can stay secure?

Read more: Data protection - Are passwords obsolete?

Another major issue is the ever-increasing of the already out-of-control data volume that individuals and businesses have to process day in and day out. As a result, the storing, tracking, analysing, and general managing of such sheer volume is a critical task that needs to be addressed in this digital age.

Most companies are quite new to leveraging IoT in order to collect and integrate data. Even if you are able to gather all the data, an even bigger question is how can you make some sense out of it?

The key is to break data down into smaller, more manageable size and analyse them in layers, via various steps process. Once generated, data needs to be immediately processed locally before moving down the chain. Analytical tools can be used to retract the most useful actionable insights.

GDPR and data security

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be in full effect this May 2018. The regulation forces businesses, regardless of sizes, to make data security their top priority. Though made specifically to protect the European Union citizens, it still has effects on overseas companies that provide goods or services to any EU resident.

Many big names in the cloud-based service providers have already shifted their focus to strengthen their security features in order to keep the clients’ information safe and secure.

The Internet of Things will continue to expand in the future with a whole lot more benefits to both individuals and businesses. For now, it is best to educate ourselves on the potentials and the impacts that IoT can make in our lives.

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Topics: Data security, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Resource Planning ERP

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