What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Broadly, the Internet of Things (IoT) refers to everything connected to the internet. However, it is also used to define objects or devices that ‘talk’ to each other. IoT is defined as a network of devices using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to communicate data over the internet. Such devices include home appliances, smartphones, vehicles, wearables, machines and many more.

IoT is ideally about three things; networks, devices, and data. This makes it possible for us to gather information, analyze it and create an action to perform a certain task. IoT brings networks together in that it allows devices or machines on closed private internet connections to communicate with others. The Internet of Things also allows communication of devices across different networking types thus creating a much more connected world.

How does IoT work?

The IoT is dependent on a myriad of technologies such as APIs that connect the devices to the internet. Other IoT technologies include Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, Big Data management tools, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), and the cloud.

Benefits of IoT

Additionally, IoT offers a number of benefits to organizations, enabling them to:

  • Operate efficiently – Efficiency is one of the biggest benefits that the Internet of Things has to offer. As a matter of fact, a lot of companies are using it for a number of things including automating business and manufacturing processes, remotely monitoring and controlling operations as well as optimizing supply chains, and conserving resources.
  • Enhance customer experience – IoT offers a plethora of ways for businesses to create better customer experiences across both physical and digital worlds. This can range from the delivery of highly personalized services and products to the integration of customer care with actual product performance and usage.
  • Create new business models and revenue – From service subscriptions to automatic product replenishment to apps, IoT is slowly getting rid of traditional business models by creating huge opportunities for organizations to create new services based on real-time information and sensor data.
  • Increased productivity – Across many verticals, IoT devices are helping to boost workforce productivity as well as job satisfaction. This technology helps employees to automate repetitive and mundane tasks, improve decision making, communication, and fast-track.

The Use of IoT in Key Sectors

Moreover, IoT has had a profound impact on a wide range of industries and business lines. Below are the top three sectors leading the way.

  • Manufacturing – Manufacturers are using the Industrial Internet of Things to improve worker safety, predict and prevent equipment failures, drive industrial automation and much more.
  • Transport – Thanks to IoT, intelligent transportation systems are now able to carry both passengers and cargo from one point to another all over the world. Trains, cars, ships, and planes use IoT sensors to optimize safety and monitor engine performance.
  • Automotive – Car manufacturers are helping drivers using smart cars to predict maintenance issues, avoid accidents and even find parking spots.

To remain impactful, it’s essential we educate ourselves on how we can benefit from IoT.

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