The network of interconnectivity enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) technology is gaining momentum as a catalyst for enhancing AI and ML capabilities, data analysis in real-time, industrial solutions, advanced security, edge computing, centralized connectivity, and data management, etc. for efficient operations.
This capability of the technology accelerated during 2020 amidst the Covid pandemic when contactless solutions took precedence as a preferred way to keep safe and secure even as the fight against the virus rages on. As the digital ecosystem continues to evolve, more connected devices and the IoT will see greater demand and calls for continuous innovation to build next-generation capabilities.
Moreover, the interoperability and interconnectivity that Industry 4.0 facilitates on the production front will dictate the future of industry operations and processes. Hence, industrial assets, such as edge devices, legacy equipment, and IoT hardware, must not only link to physical networks to accomplish an interconnected tomorrow but strive for communication and interaction that is constant, readily accessible, information-rich, and interactive by enabling connections between virtually everything.
The Internet of Everything (IoE) expands the IoT concept by adding links to data, people, and (business) processes. Just to clear the confusion, if IoT is the network of physical devices where collection and exchange of data occur without human intervention, IoE is the intelligent connection between people, processes, and data through many technology transitions such as the Internet of People (IoP), Industrial Internet (II) and IoT. So, simply put, IoE can be classified as a network of connections between smart devices, people, processes, and data with real-time data/information flows between them.
IoE impact on businesses
The Internet of Everything (IoE) promises to open up massive opportunities for companies, consumers, and other stakeholders from identifying new business models, creating jobs to making commuting easier for citizens. Here are some of the areas where IoE can make the biggest impact according to industry experts.
Leveraging new devices: IoE can help them thrive amidst the exponential growth of devices, data, and technologies. IoE technology enables retrieval and analyses of the data from various new devices regardless of competing standards and formats by its network intelligence. This will facilitate the accomplishment of large-scale tasks in a faster and error-free way. The productivity efficiency will have a higher chance of resulting in higher bottom-line growths.
Monetizing data: The objective of IoE is to turn information into actions, providing data-based decision making and offer new capabilities and richer experiences. In IoE, communication occurs between machine to machine, machine to people and technology-assisted people to people. IoT devices record data patterns of consumers’ interactions with devices. This will allow for companies to offer a better user experience and help businesses to study buyer cycle, consumer requirements, the scope for improvement, and innovative inventions and methods for promotion and marketing.
Cloud computing: Organizations are steadily taking their workloads to the cloud. Cloud technologies are well suited in terms of fulfilling the computational and storage requirements for developing an IoE-based environment as they can play a pivotal role in connecting all devices. Big data and cloud data have a cooperative relationship, as the cloud infrastructure effectively enables storage, real-time processing, and big data analysis at scale and quickly. Cloud storage is available on a pay-as-you-go basis. The scalability of cloud computing and the data processing from IoE will facilitate business growth along with technological and analytical capabilities.
IoE is pushing competitive uniformity throughout the private sector. Emerging-market countries and midsize companies are poised to realize significant value from IoE, enabling them to achieve a level playing field with developed countries and larger firms. The capabilities of technologies such as IoE have the potential to change the settings of competitive landscapes in the near future. In a recent survey by Cisco, IT leaders have identified the benefits of IoE in three broad categories. Firstly, they believed that technology will help in accelerating the pace of innovation. Secondly, they found it to be effective in fulfilling the needs of consumer demand in new ways; and thirdly, they put their trust in the capabilities of IoE to automate business processes.
Moreover, LoRa Alliance, a non-profit organization committed to the development and promotion of the LoRaWAN standard – a long range wide-area networking (LPWAN) technology are working towards standardizing the use of LPWA networks to enable large scale Internet-of-Things (IoT) deployments. The adoption of these networks will lead to advancements in smart cities, agriculture, advanced metering, and much more.
Maximizing value from IoE
Truth be told, there is no fixed state for IoE as of yet. The business model and market expectations for IoE are rather dynamic. Organizations need to understand and accept the actuality and adapt to the market trends. However, to harness the capabilities of IoE, companies would do well to take a strategic approach that involves investing in high-quality technology infrastructure and tools, adopting and following inclusive practices, and developing effective information-management practices. Overall, there is an overarching need to strategically leverage technology innovations such as IoE for business benefits.