October 3, 2018 Last updated September 30th, 2018 2,303 Reads share

Are the Benefits of IoT Greater Than Its Threats?

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Without adopting new technologies, even large & well-known enterprises risk to be left behind. According to a Forbes survey, IoT and Cloud are currently the top 2 investment priorities for major agencies. In the 5 years to come, we will witness the great transformation of corporate world due to the impact of IoT technology. And that is no surprise, since connected devices open new opportunities for businesses. Meanwhile, it also brings important challenges & risks. Let’s explore major advantages of this technology trend.

1) Improved User Experience.

From studying clients behavior to creating higher quality products, IoT provides a competitive advantage to companies. Thanks to the IoT, business owners can find any product defects before customer purchases it. This leads to a faster problem solving and higher satisfaction rates.

A great example of this is the car industry. Today, some cars have built-in sensors, informing drivers about accidents on the road or preventing them when a car needs maintenance. Customers will be able to get real-time data about location, fuel consumption and trip length on the go.

IoT connects companies and clients, taking communication to a brand new level. Personalized offers & discounts, based on clients past behavior, are just a part of the deal. Now airports & bus companies can respond to clients inquiries before even they are made, fix broken escalators or open the gates, thanks to the IoT data. As a result, clients satisfaction rates grow, leading to a higher ROI.

2) Higher Productivity & Efficiency.

According to Gartner survey, increased productivity is the largest IoT asset for 41% of respondents. By reducing employees manual work, connected devices significantly speed up goods processing and other working processes. Thanks to IoT data, retailers have a more in-depth vision about supply chains and current state of products delivery. For example, connected devices can notify when a shipment is late due to weather conditions or other circumstances. All these and other applications allow agencies to create more efficient processes and storehouses.

Moreover, IoT devices can help your employees to manage their time more efficiently. For instance, they can enable a personalised schedule with well arranged tasks & reminding option. No more waiting in line for coffee, staying in a traffic jam or other ways to lose precious time – IoT will simplify & streamline greatly every-day processes.

3) New Revenue Streams.

Companies can turn large amounts of collected data  into a new source of revenue. For example, clients behavior & analytics is a highly valuable information, which can bring additional profits to agencies. They can offer consulting services to other companies, anticipate future consumer needs and provide one-of-a-kind clients assistance.

Another great example is conversational commerce: it allows customers to make a purchase without having to install a mobile app. All it takes is to speak to a phone or a computer. The AI-powered chatbot will browse through customers shopping behavior, history of navigation and other data to offer them instant guidance and assistance. As a result, customers can buy the desired products simultaneously, and the company sales grow.

Moreover, connected devices can gather the contextualized data from sensors. This info can directly affect sales number. For example, one can structure information about humidity, temperature and climate changes in a spot report and sell it on the online-platform. This info is valuable for meteorologists and scientists. IoT can create new sales funnels for companies, but also bring additional value to customers.

4) Inventory Tracking & Management.

The key asset of IoT is better visibility into inventory, products location, their expiration dates etc. Thanks to a well-organised IoT system, business owners can get information about the weather, temperature, damage and other aspects affecting their products & goods. This, in turn, allows to avoid stock shortages, overstocks and shipments stuck in traffic. IoT allows companies to reduce the error risk in this area. This leads to improved supplier collaboration & better inventory management.

To use these and other benefits in practice, companies are constantly looking for experienced IoT developers. Since this tech trend is relatively new, IoT specialists might be difficult to find. Let’s explore what other challenges IoT prepares for modern enterprises.

What are major risks of IoT and how to avoid them?

Low level of security and data breaches are among the most significant threats of IoT for companies. By default, connected devices are wide open. So, it’s your responsibility to ensure as strong security layer as possible. More data leads to more vulnerabilities, thus connected devices require efficient management and rapid solutions. So, what measures should you take?

  1. To prevent possible attacks, managers should make an IoT system risk assessment. This allows to find potential risk areas and set the main business priorities in terms of security.
  2. Make penetration tests to identify all the vulnerabilities and simulate possible attack scenarios. To do this efficiently, you might need the help of pen testing professionals.
  3. Ensure high level of device security. Update the firmware and take other preventive measures. Make sure to change and enforce passwords on every IoT device. Using a specific software solution such as Nomad Content Distribution allows to secure all content distributions and data transactions.
  4. Protect your cloud transactions & network. Make sure your Internet connection is secure enough and adopt strong IT policies to prevent possible data breaches. There should be no open ports in the IoT devices, since these are vulnerable zones in any IoT system.
  5. Use gateways to improve your data security before transmitting it to the cloud. They allow to prevent potential data leaks and attacks from outside. Improve your current IT safety infrastructure, choose the right software and hardware providers. To avoid making mistakes which will cost you a lot, begin with small projects before moving to larger ones.
  6. Finally, identify your needs and how IoT can serve them.  Planning the key implementation aspects beforehand allows to avoid additional expenses or, worse, missing business objectives.

As we can see, benefits of IoT are definitely greater than its threats. Freeing up resources, collecting large amounts of data and predicting future trends are just a few of IoT secret powers. With a properly applied strategy, anyone can ensure the complete security of connected devices. Agencies across various industries already take advantage of the IoT, although its full potential is yet to discover.

Dana Kozubska

Dana Kozubska

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