What is the Internet of Things and how does it effect your business?

What is the Internet of Things and how does it effect your business?


IoT is the concept that the devices we surround ourselves with are becoming increasingly connected to the Internet and, as a result, interconnected. Once a futuristic term unknown outside the inner sanctum of the world’s tech leaders, the idea of the Internet of Things (IoT) has been gathering momentum for the past 10 years.

With broadband Internet becoming increasingly accessible, IoT is growing faster than ever and as connected devices are already estimated to have reached 25 billion objects – outnumbering the world’s population by 1.5 to 1 – it’s safe to say that the Internet of Things has well and truly arrived.

Analyst firm Gartner suggests that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices. While there are some rather fascinating scenarios being predicted for consumers (how about a saucer that weighs your cup, sensing when you need another flat white and ordering it for you?), the opportunities for businesses that catch on are huge. According to McKinsey Global, IoT has the potential to create economic impact of $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion annually by 2025.

As Microsoft Cloud specialists Network Overdrive are perfectly placed to assist our clients in managing their business’ IoT through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

By using the platform your business can start:

  • Monitoring and analysing data in real time, which enables you to respond quickly to any opportunities or threats.
  • Growing your business by spotting opportunities for new business models and revenue streams in your collected data.
  • Streamlining your internal efficiency by tracking performance over time for various departments.
  • Using data to improve customer engagement by offering products and services that are contextualised and personalised to your clients.

But while there are no doubt exciting opportunities ahead, more and more people, from consumers through to government officials, are discussing one of the hottest IoT topics at the moment – security.

The American Faderal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released their report on the November 2013 workshop held on the future of IoT. The report concludes that the most important thing for businesses selling interconnected devices to consider is to have plans in place for when something goes wrong.

FTC also stress that companies should focus on integrating security as a core component of the design and consider taking extra measures to keep unauthorised users form accessing personal data stored in devices. The proposed way is for businesses to limit the amount of data they collect in the first place.

The FTC also emphasise communicating with customers who will, no doubt, continue to be wary of the risks of their personal information ending up in the wrong hands.