The IoT in action!

Internet of Things » refers to the networking of objects with the Internet – connected objects can communicate independently via the Internet and thus perform various tasks for their owners. The range of applications extends from general information supply and automatic ordering to warning and emergency functions. «

Which technologies are important for the Internet of Things?

For the implementation of the Internet of Things in the various areas of industry, it is essential to know about the mode of action, advantages and disadvantages, and above all the interaction of the individual technologies. Only with the combination of different IoT technologies can an efficient realization of a digital enterprise development be successfully implemented. The following is an overview of some IoT technologies that – according to forecasts – will be increasingly used in the future.

IoT is the engine of digital transformation

Digital transformation opens up great opportunities for a better quality of life, new business models and more efficient economic activity through the use of new technologies.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of eight future technologies (The Essential 8) that will make the digital transformation tangible, will have a decisive impact and will have the greatest influence on value creation in the medium term.

IoT is understood to be a network of physical devices connected by sensors and software via the Internet to exchange data. The wide range of possible applications covers almost every industry, from networked production and energy supply to networked buildings and cities, networked agriculture and healthcare.

The Internet of Things drives the economy

The Internet of Things, is undoubtedly the hottest hype in the IT world right now. Many managers are promising themselves new business opportunities from comprehensive networking. It is difficult to reach consensus when it comes to the factual content of the celebrated Internet of Things (IoT for short) icon. “The ‘Internet of Things’ is one of those nebulous terms introduced by the IT industry where people can’t appreciate what it actually means,” complained Luke Walling, vice president of sales and operations at AVG Technologies, for example, in the introduction to an IoT study conducted by the security specialist in North America in early 2014.

How has the Internet of Things affected business?

One early sign of the emergence of an economy of things is the rollout of smart technologies. Smart home devices and applications, in particular, are trending. According to a GfK study, 72 percent of German consumers are convinced of the benefits of a smart home, and 26 percent own at least one product that makes their home smarter. Smart TV devices are already widespread: In May 2016, more than 16 million German households had at least one TV of this type. Of the TV sets sold in 2016, more than 60 percent were Internet-enabled.

The growth of the sharing economy is another sign of the IoT’s impact on the economy. In Germany, lending and sharing models have long been commonplace and are becoming increasingly popular. Without networked technologies, they would be unthinkable. Examples include the car-sharing services offered by various car manufacturers, the rental bike services offered by Deutsche Bahn, and Kleiderkreisel. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers confirms the trend. According to the study, around 46 percent of Germans have used at least one sharing economy service in the past two years, and 64 percent of respondents would like to do so in the next two years.

Telecommunications giant Cisco, for example, explains the term this way: “Internet of Things is when the Internet and (other) networks extend into areas such as factory floors, energy grids, healthcare facilities and transportation routes.” This depiction is by no means wrong, though it is also not very concrete. The Internet of Things is not about objects such as refrigerators or coffee machines moving onto the Internet we are familiar with. The point is rather that things communicate with each other, network themselves, form their own “network of things.” It is of secondary importance whether this communication and networking takes place via the Internet, 3G or 4G networks, or directly from thing to thing. For consumers, the currently visible tip of the IoT iceberg consists primarily of fitness wristbands, data glasses, home automation appliances and car navigation systems connected to the Internet.

The fourth industrial revolution coming with the Internet of Things

From a company’s point of view, the interaction of communicating things is much more extensive and complex. New challenges and opportunities are opening up at all levels – from the automation and flexibilization of production, through maintenance and logistics, to the analysis of customer data.

It is therefore encouraging that IDC’s study “Internet of Things in Germany 2015” came to a very positive conclusion regarding the level of information of German managers. According to the study, 45 percent of the IT decision-makers surveyed expressed confidence and stated that they considered themselves to be “very familiar” with the concept of IoT. Their interest is no coincidence; according to a recent SME study by AVG, more than half of the companies expect positive business developments from IoT, and a quarter even expect to earn more from this trend than from any other current development in the IT sector.