Impact Analysis of the Existing and Emerging Technologies on Future Trends

Impact Analysis of the Existing and Emerging Technologies on Future Trends

As IoT technology moves to the mainstream in companies in all major industries, the expenditure on IoT technology is set to increase continuously due to the growing number of connected devices and IoT projects. Companies will go beyond automation of processes to transform the entire industrial processes by creating new business models and revenue structures. This is driven by the industrial-wide push for interoperability, collaboration and setting of standards. Technologies such as AI, cloud computing, blockchain and modern connectivity improve the business processes. The combination of AI, cloud computing and blockchain with IoT technology results in the positive technological advancements and industrial growth that IoT promises. A great value is achieved when the technologies are used in IoT investments. Enterprises are able to address problems related to bandwidth, security and data analytics. An example is the use of AI and machine learning (ML) to analyze real-time data and aid in decision-making. The use of cloud computing helps to make the systems scalable, thus addressing latency, bandwidth and reliability issues. Blockchain will provide secure and timely tracking of data transactions and requests. Blockchain eliminates the need for mediated communication between the devices.

The existing and emerging IoT technologies not only connect previously unconnected devices, but also result in the merging of IT systems with operational technology. It creates an opportunity for cybercriminals to try to sabotage the devices and operation technology systems. It is noted that cyber-attacks are set to increase as more systems are merged with IoT technologies. The increase in the cyber-attacks would push the businesses to focus on IoT security. It will require more investment in training their personnel on how to address the related security concerns. Another approach is the implementation of a comprehensive strategy involving cyber security teams to develop a secure and efficient IoT network across the entire business operations. The enterprises can use cyber security technologies such as biometric encryption on the various IoT devices and systems across all levels to prevent identity theft and sabotage.

IoT drives the co-economy where large and small companies co-innovate and co-develop IoT solutions. It involves technological specialists who combine the knowledge and expertise in the development of large-scale IoT projects. The new partner ecosystems will develop the best and cost-effective solutions, resulting in more IoT innovations. The customers will also be co-innovators since a majority of them no longer want to be just purchasing the products. Rather, they prefer to provide their contribution on the requirements based on their preferences. The involvement of customers in the development of IoT solutions help in realigning the technology and business needs.

IoT has enabled the development of best-in-class industrial systems and applications with the help of communication technologies such as RFID, wireless communication, cellular connectivity and sensors. For instance, LTE (Long Term Evolution) which is meant for mobile communication has been updated to an advanced version that can work in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication and controlling unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). RFID paved way for Near Field Communication (NFC) which is now used in smartphones to read NFC tags and access merchant payments. ZigBee communication technology is also used in IoT devices as it features low power consumption and costs (Saha, H.N., Mandal, A. and Sinha, A., 2017, 3).

By enabling the creation of new value propositions and business models, IoT technology is merged with other technologies to minimize production costs and improve interoperability of processes. An example is the combination of IoT with real-time data analytics and AI to predict the malfunctions of the enterprise systems or equipment and conduct precautionary maintenance. The businesses are also able to offer service-oriented products that rely on IoT technology. The customization of products is aided by the combination of IoT with AR technology. AR enriches the products’ presentation through the use of computer-generated virtual 3D elements. For example, the personalization of products can have AR features such as 3D printing or visual presentations based on customers’ needs and preferences (Schmalstieg, D. and Hollerer, T., 2016, 4).

The evolution of IoT technology has resulted in the rise of new opportunities and ecosystems in the IoT environment. The enterprises are driven by the value of IoT technology to develop new products, services and revenue streams. It has also attracted investments and created jobs related to IoT technological advancements. A number of ancillary industries that manufacture analytics systems, smart and connected devices, monitoring systems and security solutions have emerged. Other companies and service providers are benefiting from cloud and communication technologies. These companies include those that provide the connectivity and infrastructure which is required by the IoT networks. It is noted that the network and connectivity technologies will also have to adapt to the IoT environment. Even though they facilitated the rise of IoT (the way cloud and IoT are linked) their evolution is also impacted by the IoT technologies. Cloud increases the number of devices linked to a network whereas IoT is capable of expanding the infrastructure; and the cloud must expand as well.

Summary Discussion

A number of solutions address the IoT challenges. The issues of security and privacy are addressed by implementing proven solutions that would boost the security of the IoT devices. The IoT security providers will identify the problems such as potential threats in the IoT network and devices. They will employ security analytics that involve collection, correlation and analysis of data from a number of sources. The next step is to implement a public key infrastructure which will ensure the encryption of data and reduce the theft of data. Ensuring communication protection on the communication network using encryptions such as AES 256 and HTTPS (Zissis, D. and Lekkas, D., 2012, p. 583). Another step is to secure the network against attacks. For instance, integrating security features such as firewalls, anti-malware and antivirus programs. The vulnerability of IoT devices is also reduced when there is a comprehensive device authentication of IoT devices.

The companies also need to employ cloud computing and big data analytics for the interpretation data collected by IoT devices to achieve maximum benefits. The data helps in developing personalized investments and products. The design challenges can be addressed by assessing the capacities and the designated functionalities of the IoT devices before determining its viability and interoperability with other devices. For example, increasing the battery capacity of the device might solve the challenge of limited energy. Government and regulatory bodies should come up with regulations that will help ensure safety and security of IoT devices and people. Setting the appropriate and common standards, design and configuration of IoT devices will promote the success of the IoT ecosystem where sensors, machines, devices and people communicate in a common language. It is noted that interoperability is essential for the future development of IoT. An example is the need for vehicles to communicate with each other to coordinate the movement in traffic and ensure safety on the road.

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