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Internet of Things (IoT) in a post-pandemic market

The impact of COVID-19 on our society and economy is unique. In almost all countries manufacturing, shipping, distribution are currently massively affected, several current projects are paused and new product initiatives are no longer recognized. The pandemic has forced companies to rethink their work practices and modify them to the current situation with COVID-19. However, some organizations obtain the advantages of IoT applications in this turmoil.

Fortunately, we live in the age of sophisticated digital technologies. A wide array of devices and software enables us to operate and respond to this dilemma in a way that would have been difficult in the past. Such technologies as Artificial Intelligence, Extended Reality, Data Analytics, and the Internet of Things are encouraging organizations and governments to solve unique challenges posed by COVID-19.

 

COVID-19: Boosting digital transformation

Apart from the dark sides of the coronavirus that we are all conscious of, the virus outbreak has forced many organizations to innovate at a fast pace. In order to stay competitive, companies are looking for cutting-edge applications to evade drowning in the sea of limitations and precautions caused by the virus. Amongst them are work-from-home infrastructure, collaboration tools, visualization solutions, VPN networking, and numerous other solutions, that help companies to efficiently operate in times of crisis digitally.

 

The results of the pandemic on the global economic slowdown are causing CXO’s to prioritize spending on services and technology that are considered “mission-critical” over initiatives intended for transformation or growth. Investing in associated technologies is no more a luxury, but a requirement for survival and business continuity. 

 

Need for resilient leadership in the face of COVID-19 

It is imperative for companies to think ahead to be in a state of readiness to solve the difficulties due to the pandemic and preserve the future of the business. As a business, there is no “one size fits all” solution to tackle this condition. Despite the extent of the virus impact on an industry, a typical crisis plays out over 3 phases –  

Phase 1 – Respond – in which a company deals with the present condition and manages continuity. 

Phase 2 – Recuperate – during which an organization learns and appears stronger. 

Phase 3 – Flourish – in which the organization provides for and shapes the “next to normal”. 

COVID-19 has precipitated the company’s complete focus towards industry 4.0. Two things that have become critical for companies today are concentrating on adopting digital technologies that compose the Industrial 4.0 revolution and investing in new products and services that allow them to succeed in the fast-evolving economic environment. 

IoT is believed to be the fundamental technology of the Industrial 4.0 revolution that has a future despite facing constant challenges in the market. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced nearly all companies to improve their working practices and priorities in a matter of weeks, with more than three-quarters of adopters building the speed of internet of things (IoT) projects.

IoT is confusing both the industrial sectors (agriculture, oil and gas, transportation, water, and manufacturing) and the customer sectors such as retail, health care, and services. These industries are adopting IoT with the extended use of sensors, cloud, robotics, centralized tracking, quality inspection, etc., creating an ecosystem of smart manufacturing. 

 

High-value drivers of the Internet of Things 

Few of the compelling reasons why companies use IoT are –  

  • Cost Reduction: Companies have already started searching for more options to realize the potential of IoT by reaching untapped data and applying analytics that can help operators make informed choices in real-time. With this increased performance, opportunities are built to reduce operational costs. 
  • Revenue Growth: Using data from interconnected systems, a customized offering can be built for end customers to improve sales performance, decrease customer attrition, etc., leading to a potential revenue increase. 
  • Security and Safety: Remote monitoring and administration of critical assets support operators in discovering patterns and trends and reporting any irregularity. With the help of IoT, companies can realize their efforts to focus on assuring a safe working environment and their employee’s wellbeing. 
  • Quality Control: Evaluating process historical data from edge devices or sensors helps operators control the product’s quality. Processing data at every stage has helped companies control quality and allowed operators to take remedial actions in real-time, rather than inspecting quality after batch production. 
  • Big Data: Creates humongous stats to examine for understanding the requirements and accomplishing customer satisfaction and assurance. 

According to the latest IDC report, “Across the world, spending on software and hardware associated with IoT is predicted to grow quickly, from $726 billion in 2019 to $1.1 trillion in 2023. The report further exposes that Asia-Pacific considered for most of the spending on IoT in 2019, with India contributing $20.6 billion.” 

The beginning of the connected world is also assumed to bring challenges around ensuring that privacy rights are recognized while collecting and using data, the obtained information is used and collected securely, and edge devices and sensors do not get seized or become a threat vector. 

The IoT data life cycle considerations involve data collection and discovery, data confidentiality/loss prevention, reliable data retention and disposal, and compliance and administrative requirements. 

 

The IoT platform can weave nimbly across business sector platforms, building security concerns concerning the collected information and efficient management. The following are some observations per industry analysis: 

  • Weak authentication/authorizations 
  • Lack of comprehensive management 
  • Lack of notification 
  • Periodic security upgrades and enhanced threat vector 
  • Limited encryption capability 
  • Insecure web interface 
  • Use of default IoT parameters 
  • Data portability and interoperability issues with vendor lock-in 
  • Diverse nature of collected data 
  • Continuous availability 

 

Privacy Challenges 

IoT systems accumulate information that may be a personal or business secret. Implementations require to assure better management of the following: 

  • Privacy by design 
  • Data subject rights 
  • Emerging privacy regulatory and compliance requirements. 

 

Key considerations for privacy and protection in IoT 

To counter the growing threats in the IoT landscape, it is desirable for the IoT’s core development and architecture design to endure by a “secure-by-design” approach.  

Processing large volumes of personal data may result in critical privacy implications which can be countered by adhering to stricter privacy problems and data governance. 

According to leading market measures, “The IoT market is attaining new heights and will skyrocket to attain US$ 1256.1 billion by 2025 from US$ 690 billion in 2019 rising at a CAGR of 10.53%, during the forecasted period 2020-2025. With the rise of wireless networking technologies, the development of advanced data analytics, a reduction in the cost of connected devices, the IoT market is assumed to grow at a positive rate, even after the Covid-19 pandemic.” 

 

Revenue opportunities are driven by IoT 

Companies realize the maximum advantages of connected operations when IoT moves from being a cost to a revenue generator. Revenue opportunities are encouraged typically by several data monetization models such as: 

Data as a service: Relies on monetizing data caught in the system. 

Insights as a service: Relies on selling insights gained by data captured in the platform. 

Platform as a service: Allows licensing the platform. 

Business as a service: Enables enterprises to provide a business capability as a service. 

IoT as a technology has been growing for some time and looks poised for continuous growth globally. This growth is assumed to be driven by industrial sectors such as utilities, manufacturing, agriculture, and infrastructure, which is acknowledging extensive changes in their operating environment. 

To further stimulate the adoption, technology providers, policymakers, and industries require to work closely to address the challenges. 

 

TestUnity’s experience in IoT app Testing as a Service (TaaS), a team of IoT-skilled assurance specialists, and a strong IoT assurance infrastructure (labs, simulators, test racks, etc.,) maintain the real-time quality assurance of Big Data, Compatibility, IoT Security, Performance, Pilot, Regulatory, Reliability, Upgrade, Usability, and smart devices in a dynamic environment (RFID, Sensors). 

Need help? 

Talk to our IoT Assurance experts. They will help implement a solution to your business and will demonstrate how to overcome several IoT challenges in a post-COVID world.

 

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