The recent MEF CONNECTS IoT Day “The Connected Future: How IoT is Transforming Our Lives,” offered a glimpse into the transformative potential of the Internet of Things. The virtual event showcased the evolution of our technological landscape, where devices are no longer merely functional but are now an integral part of our daily lives.
Here, MEF Programme Director for IoT Nassia Skoulikariti provides an in-depth summary of the various sessions that took place during this enlightening event, also now available to watch in full on demand.
The Incredible Reach of IoT
The IoT continues to expand its influence, with the numbers speaking to its incredible reach. It’s estimated that by the end of this year, there will be 15 billion active IoT endpoints. And by 2025, IoT devices are projected to generate a staggering 79.4 zettabytes of data. To put this into perspective, imagine downloading 79.4 trillion standard movies – that’s the vast amount of information in the IoT ecosystem.
IoT’s Reshaping of Industries
IoT’s impact extends beyond economic metrics, profoundly reshaping a range of industries from healthcare to retail and logistics. IoT-enabled devices are transforming our day-to-day experiences, improving efficiency and productivity across various sectors.
Market Dynamics: A Shift in Focus
Interestingly, the enterprise IoT market is currently witnessing a flattening growth curve. Given the increased competitive intensity and the ongoing price war, there’s a shift in focus beyond connectivity to maintain revenue growth and competitive advantage.
The Rising Importance of Adjacent Technologies
Enterprises are now prioritizing solutions that offer a better customer experience and improved workflow. The integration of adjacent technologies like AI, digital twins, and blockchain is now seen as a crucial factor for success in the IoT market.
Private mobile networks, particularly with the advent of 5G, are becoming increasingly popular for on-site connectivity. These networks offer enhanced control and security, enabling enterprises to truly unlock the potential of IoT applications.
Regional Use Case Differences
Different regions have distinct use cases. For instance, private networks, particularly for LTE, are gaining traction in Europe, driven by a strong demand for improved wireless connections across various industries.
The Automotive Industry: An Early Adopter
The automotive industry was one of the first to recognize the need for quality wireless connections on production lines. With the rise of private 5G, we can expect to see the industry utilizing more advanced applications in logistics.
Addressing Connectivity Challenges
Transitioning from outdoor to indoor production environments can pose challenges with traditional wireless connections. Private networks offer a solution with better quality of service and the ability to handle multiple connections.
Business Models and Economics
The OpEx model, which allows for scalable growth based on the number of devices, aligns with customer preferences and is driving the adoption of private networks.
Security Concerns and Spectrum Availability
While security remains a prime concern for private networks, education about available solutions can alleviate these worries. Additionally, the availability of spectrum impacts the progress of private 5G projects, necessitating collaboration between various stakeholders.
When it comes to designing and implementing successful IoT solutions, understanding the challenges, opportunities, and best practices is crucial.
Understanding the Expertise
The importance of understanding and working with a diverse range of assets, including sensors, people, and multi-ships, to deliver effective IoT solutions cannot be understated.
“The IoT is right now on the adoption curve.”— Nick Earle
Edge Computing and Connectivity
Working at the edge of the network and using webcams and edge devices for data collection is vital. Additionally, ensuring connectivity that can handle Over-The-Air (OTA) updates is crucial for ensuring scalability and efficiency in IoT solutions.
Modular Architecture and Scalability
As the number of connected devices grows exponentially, building IoT solutions with modular and scalable architectures becomes crucial. According to Nick Earle,CEO Eseye, approximately 80% of IoT project failures can be attributed to device design.
Security from the Ground Up
Security is a paramount concern in IoT design. Incorporating security measures from the beginning can mitigate potential risks associated with scaling and protect data and networks.
The Demand for Global Solutions
Customers and enterprises are seeking IoT solutions that provide global coverage. Achieving this level of global accessibility requires building solutions that are compatible with every operator, capable of flexible radio access, and adaptable to roaming and localization options.
Sustainability and IoT in the Energy Sector
Sustainability is a critical aspect of the energy sector. Smart, secure, and sustainable industrial IoT solutions can create a better world, where everything from cars to shop floors can be improved through connected devices.
Europe’s Push Towards Carbon Neutrality
With new legislations and a focus on alternative energy sources, Europe is making significant strides towards carbon neutrality.
The Role of IoT in Achieving Carbon Neutrality
By leveraging IoT devices, companies can analyze their energy consumption, identify wastage, and implement smart measures like alerts and automated device shutdowns.
The Journey to Sustainable Business Practices
A pressing concern is the low percentage of companies that have successfully delivered on their CO2 reduction plans.
The Enigma of IoT Security and Privacy
As the proliferation of IoT devices grows, ensuring data security and privacy becomes increasingly crucial.
Security and Privacy Challenges in IoT
Every IoT solution faces security and privacy issues. As IoT evolves and becomes intertwined with artificial intelligence, its impact on our lives will be as significant as the influence of social media.
Individual and Enterprise Responsibility
It is crucial for individuals and businesses to understand IoT and prioritize security and privacy.
Legislation and Standards
Governments worldwide understand the importance of IoT security and privacy. The US has introduced the voluntary US Cyber Trust Mark, while the UK and EU are planning to enforce legally binding security and privacy standards by 2024.
Visibility of Vulnerabilities
Hackers can exploit IoT devices through various means, including taking over devices or exploiting known vulnerabilities in the networking stack.
The Ethical Conundrums of IoT
While IoT offers immense possibilities, it also presents genuine concerns around security, privacy, and ethics.
Risks and Context
It’s essential to consider the potential risks involved in content and data collection for vulnerable populations.
“It matters because people get hurt. Bad things happen. Children get scammed. Elderly, relatives get scammed, even smart, bright, well informed young adults, can be taken for a ride. “ Lucy Knight
Building a Culture of Dialogue
Communication with parents and guardians is vital in protecting children’s access to appropriate content online.
Collaboration for Better Solutions
Safeguarding vulnerable populations requires collaboration from all stakeholders, including regulators, technology companies, and society at large.
Smart, Secure, and Sustainable Industrial I/IoT
Understanding the challenges, identifying potential risks, and implementing proactive security measures are paramount to ensuring a smart, secure, and sustainable IoT ecosystem. “what might happen is that these systems don’t operate as expected… your pacemaker does not work anymore. And that means that your heart doesn’t beat. If you’re or your your your father’s heart doesn’t beat or your mother’s heart doesn’t beat.”
“If you’re using IoT to monitor the the the water level of your crops and you’re a farmer and you need those crops to survive in order for you and your family to survive and to feed your community, then if that sensor is broken, that means that you might not be able to save a crop from from failure that year, you have to wait another year to replant the crop. So you and your family may not have the money you need, but also the community that you feed with that food will not have access to that food.” Dianna Kelley
As we move forward, it’s clear that IoT is more than just a buzzword. Its potential to reshape industries and our daily lives is immense. However, it’s essential to address the associated challenges, particularly in terms of security, privacy, and ethical considerations. By understanding these issues and adapting accordingly, stakeholders in the IoT ecosystem can unlock immense potential for growth and success.
Our appreciation goes out to the speakers, panelists, and supporters who helped make the MEF CONNECTS IoT Day a success. And to all the attendees, thank you for being a part of this journey. Your engagement and eagerness to learn make such events impactful and worthwhile.