The Internet of Things is set to explode over the next few years, with research firm Gartner predicting that 6.4 billion connected “things” will be in use globally this year, up 30 percent from 2015. Gartner expects nearly 21 billion things to be connected to the Internet by 2020.
Enterprises can use other technologies, such as data analytics, to leverage data gathered from IoT that can provide useful insights to improve their businesses. As the authors of a recent study by research and consulting firms Camrosh and Ideya Ltd. write, “Companies that integrate their intelligence programs directly into the IoT framework to leverage big data analytics beyond device data will gain the most, while those lacking the capability to convert newly discovered data into actionable insight will be left behind.”
Another technology that enables enterprise use of IoT is mobile.
Indeed, BizTech contributor Calvin Hennick takes a step further, arguing that “mobility plays a central role in the Internet of Things.”
“Most obviously, the robust and secure wireless connections that are essential for mobile device deployments are also necessary to support an IoT environment within the enterprise,” he writes.
In addition to the digital highways that mobile creates for IoT data, mobile devices can be used as IoT controllers, allowing users to monitor data in real time and make necessary adjustments to physical components, Hennick says. Smartphones and tablets themselves also can serve as “things” that transmit data.
By now, mobile networks virtually are everywhere, which means the infrastructure is there for IoT. Hennick points out several industries and ideal use cases for mobile-enabled IoT, including smart buildings, the oil and gas industries, manufacturing and smart cities.
In all of these cases, sensor-enabled IoT devices can be monitored and controlled to optimize efficiency and save on energy and other costs, while smart cities can use IoT to improve traffic flow and make parking easier for consumers.
As IoT becomes an enterprise fact of life, it is imperative that IT professionals make sure their mobile networks and equipment can scale to meet the increased data traffic. The alternative is to frustrate employees and customers with slow mobile service while also failing to fully leverage IoT devices and data.
Is your enterprise’s mobile infrastructure ready for IoT?