Plenty of companies yearn to integrate cloud computing with their IT infrastructure but feel hesitant to do so due to concerns about data security. A lot of public cloud host service providers make use of the same hardware infrastructure to manage the needs of various clients which can compromise the security of data systems.
However, it is possible to hire the expertise of private cloud computing companies as they follow data security methods that can work for HIPAA and PCI-sensitive organizations. By getting private cloud computing solutions, companies can have greater control over their data security needs.
Here are 5 handy tips for implementing cloud computing concepts while maintaining the highest levels of security.
- The first thing that you need to keep in mind is the location of your data. Unless you know the location of your data, it won’t be possible for you to secure it. While it is still important for you to use technologies like firewall, data encryption, and intrusion detection methods, knowing your data’s location allow you to prevent security breaches when the cloud system stops working. You should be able to use dedicated hardware to implement stringent security parameters for your data that you share through cloud computing.
- Make sure that you keep your data perfectly backed up. When you take backups of your data, you can be sure of the fact that your data is safe against any kind of losses. This can also help you secure all important information about your business and provide you with the peace of mind that you seek.
- The data centers that you choose to work with for your company should always take data security in a serious manner. They should be able to implement the best security measures in the servers in which your data is kept. It is important that they are PCI or HIPAA certified and SSAE 16, SOC 2 and SAS 70 audited. Managed services like intrusion detection, firewalls and antivirus can really work out well for you by making your data, applications, and enterprise more resilient.
- A good way to ensure security for your data would be to check out the clients that a cloud service provider has worked with. By seeing whether the cloud provider has already worked with clients in the past requiring critical and stringent security measures, it is possible for you to make sure that your data is in good hands. Organizations operating in the financial, insurance, healthcare and government sectors are certainly good examples requiring high-end data security. By contacting these companies, you can be sure if they offer excellent data security.
- It is important that you also carry out detailed tests to ensure that the cloud systems are equipped with the best security features.
These are the top 5 and most important cloud computing security tips that many app development companies india agencies are adopting in their development and implementation processes so as to have better security for their product or services.
Digital Transformation is now a number one priority for many businesses. Over the past two years, businesses have put increased focus on digitally transforming their brands from the inside out.
It is an ongoing process of change based on the market and the needs of the customers. To deliver this change successfully, there is a need to establish a clear vision with objectives & expected outcomes.
Simply put vision is a picture of how the organization will look like after stipulated time.
Importance of Vision:
· Provides the big picture and clearly describes what your organization will be like in several years
· Clarifies the right direction of change to ensure that everyone is moving forward
· Inspires everyone to take action in the set direction
· Synchronizes the action of different people. It provides self-sufficiency to individuals and teams while reducing conflicts.
There are some do’s & don’ts for setting up a vision:
· Develop a Vision that is in line with the company growth strategy.
· Connect with partners who support your vision, not only third-party technology vendors but your own customers and employees
· It should create the sense of urgency
· Link vision to specific goals in future
· Describe how the company will actually change
· How will you engage differently with customers?
· It remains only as floor branding and marketing
· Restricting the employees with set vision & its boundaries
· Vision is way too complicated, vague and lacking actionable initiatives
· Poor communication of the vision beyond the involved few stakeholders
· Setup the vision before analyzing current systems and operations
Vision brings in the cultural change that is required for Digital Transformation. People are extremely important in this roller-coaster ride.
When the digital vision is not clear, that affects the speed of adoption of both senior management and middle management. People will not act just because technology is ready.
Some successful vision statements, which helped companies in their digital transformation:
Google - To provide access to the world’s information in one click
Amazon - To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online
Walmart - To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees
GE - To become the world’s premier digital industrial company, transforming the industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive
Ikea – To create a better everyday life for the many people
Southwest Airlines - To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline
A top-down vision is a cornerstone & catalyst for digital transformation. These and many companies have created great vision statements to survive in this digital age.
The three Ds – decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitisation – are transforming the energy sector, as the quest for a carbon-free world continues. This falls on a backdrop of the IoT’s driving of efficiency around wind turbines and solar systems, which look set to represent the future of global energy consumption. The new connected energy business model is already here, it is called the internet of energy.
The internet of energy explained
The year is 2018 and the demand for clean energy has never been higher. Governments presiding over developed markets face pressures to cut emissions in the face of global warming, while projections from the International Energy Agency outlines a rise of 55% in the global demand for energy between 2005 – 2030.
Access to energy has already increased in recent years, but with the UN estimating global population growth of a further two billion by 2040, the coming years will lead to huge pressure on solar and wind power to meet this growing demand.
Another factor is the decentralisation of energy grids as a result of old, centralised systems failing to integrate newer units, like solar panels. Operators claim that billions are being spent on stabilising faulty power grids every year, with some of this passing onto the consumer.
A solution comes in the form of an internet of energy, whose technology can provide the infrastructure for decentralised, smarter energy grids and a stable supply of power.
The future of power
The internet of energy is based on a foundation of data, collected by a network of sensors with varying applications.
General Electric is one of the groups that use sensors within its turbines to monitor things like output and productivity. This is funnelled into a computer providing information on external factors, like the weather or fuel costs, which churns out recommendations for peak performance.
Artificial intelligence is ideal in this situation as a result of its ability to analyse data much quicker and more effectively than humans. In 2017 the concept was praised by the United States Department of Energy following its examination of past fluctuations in power to determine the answers for a more stable and efficient grid.
Quantum computing is another area of much interest for energy players. Its ability to process and store data at a faster pace than a classical computer makes it perfect for oil rigs, where tens of thousands of sensors are used to collect information on the performance of equipment.
At the core of further decentralisation has been blockchain; touted by China’s State Grid Corporation as a way of securing information on things like use of power and market prices. Data can then be shared with government bodies and private firms to develop a deeper understanding of the country’s energy consumption.
In near enough every use case of the internet of energy, there is an underlying theme: connectivity. By collecting, analysing and trading data via a secure, decentralised network, the energy industry can start to find a route towards providing renewables for the world’s population.
The truth is, solar and wind turbines will not solve our problems alone. With revelations that the annual waste of renewable energy from China is enough to power Beijing for an entire year, there is a clear need for a network to make better use of this equipment.
Given the rising demand for energy – and its following of a production model that dates back over 100 years – our companies must embrace the innovations that can accelerate its production. Through an internet of energy, we might have found the answer.
Get in touch to see how your own organisation can benefit from decentralised solutions and IoT.
Originally published at eleks.com
Why you need IoT in your financial business
Collect all data in real-time mode continuously
Personalized customer service
Enhancing the decision-making process
Communication between various devices
Customer smart interaction with the Internet of Things
Ways how IoT can be used in financial sector
Main challenges you may face adopting IoT in financial sector
The concept of connecting objects with the internet is the Internet of Things. It was conceived in order to establish a direct amalgamation between the virtual world and the physical world. Internet of Things is useful in the way that it recovers concrete data and information and makes them useful by offering economic benefits and improving the daily life as well.
The time has now come where people and IoT app developers have started to understand the importance of this technology and are working towards achieving greater goals with it. Tech giants have started to adopt this technology and work on developments. Here are some major reasons why they are doing it.
Windows 10 IoT Core. .NET is fully compatible with Window 10 IoT Core. The system for Windows 10 was released in 2015 and was designed specifically in a way that runs on low-power devices. One great thing about this is it’s free. It comes along with a handy toolkit. There are lots of integration options. .NET Core can be extremely helpful in creating great IoT apps. They offer a pretty smooth UX.
.NET Readymade Solutions. Almost every coding problem or issue is developed or resolved and has a solution somewhere over the internet. .NET helps developers in a great way making use of unfinished solutions and saving their time. So if you face a problem finding an IoT solution, it is very likely that someone has already found a solution for it and the code must have been posted somewhere over GitHub. .NET is a large community and the number reusable code it produces is also huge. This can help in speeding up the development process. This is why .NET is a great option.
Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure is known as one of the best available enterprise-class platforms. It is of great use for IoT users. Microsoft not only provides the Azure IoT platform and IoT accelerators, but also recovery and data storage in addition to that. Some of the most important features of an IoT platform are security, analysis, interoperability, and flexibility. These features help the IoT developers in a great way.
Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform that is both secure and reliable. It offers several services. Deploying cloud applications is pretty easy by simply setting up an application host or running it on the Azure panel. Azure technology is being continually worked upon by the Microsoft engineers. Many new features will be added and those updates will come out soon.
For any technology, it is extremely important to have a supportive community that offers help whenever required. .NET has that kind of community. There are more than two million people working on .NET, so you imagine the number of people ready to help you and offer advice in the community.
IoT will see immense growth in the coming years, considering the demand for such technology. When that happens, all the work done on it right now will then prove to be useful. .NET is the preferred environment for creating IoT apps and there is no doubt in that.
What is an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS)?
The European Telecommunication Standards Institute states that intelligent transport systems are those which include telematics and all types of communication between vehicles, in vehicles and between vehicles and fixed locations. Moreover, ITS is used not only in road transport but also in rail, water, and air transport. The Integrated System is quite capable enough of consuming a large amount of data and hence producing useful information to the traveler. This efficient information guides the traveler to reach their destination in the most optimized way.
Why a large amount of data is important?
We hear more often that people are getting fastly connected than ever because of accessibility to high-speed transportation and increased capability for sharing information, IoT in transportation is a fusion of this large amount of data which comes from multiple sources.
According to a study by McKinsey Global Institute recently it was stated that automotive industry will be the second largest producer of data in the forthcoming years and if we combine automotive with travel and logistics industry then the output for the same grow by an additional 30%.
How the data is fetched from sensors?
Sensors are highly important to get the raw data and if we consider the data of one sensor with another than we can get a deep understanding of the performance and behavior of the system. With the IoT in transportation, sensors and fetched data from them helps in detecting whether a wheel on the vehicle is slipping or not and accordingly alerts the driver or the concerned person to apply brakes. The data from these sensors help in the real-time analytics within the vehicle.
How this sensor system enables to take quick business decisions?
Data from various sources is collected and is integrated to reduce the uncertainty. Data collected from sensors is gathered and is analyzed further to have a deep insight such that it reduces the uncertainty for a particular situation. For example, the ambient air temperature being used alerts that the temperature is below freezing and the sensors used on the axle reports slippage then the situation come out to be that there is ice in that area. These alerts are sent by the cloud analytical system and (not sent manually) which warns the driver before entering a particular area.
Further, the cloud-based system sends this report to the operations center as well. This analysis report is further sent to nearby and surrounding systems which are outside the geo-fenced area. Alerts tell them about the detected ice region so that they can re-route if possible.
The Industrial IoT and its myriad potential have changed the scenario of the Transportation industry. the system has enabled to make smarter and more informed decisions. The IoT technologies need to be embraced to cope up with the competition. As the industry was in continuous suffering from heavy operational costs, the implementation of Internet of Things has made safe and cost-efficient business operations. On leveraging IoT, the connectivity and capability for predictive analytics has streamlined the processes and hence has enhanced their bottom line.
We are fast moving towards a future where cities will feature hundreds and thousands of smart connected objects, talking to each other, exchanging and producing meaningful data and insights, basically reshaping the urban landscape into intelligent and autonomous systems. Internet of Things will be at the heart of this technological transformation, as sensors and digital tags will find their way into various physical city infrastructure, monitoring traffic, weather, crime and even rat infestations! However, it’s not just hardware IoT and sensors that will provide city planners and authorities to gain more visibility into the working and management of a city. Smart connected products or ordinary consumer products tagged with digital ID’s and digital twins can open up new dimensions in how we imagine Smart Cities to function.
For the sake of painting a picture of the role of connected products within Smart Cities, let’s consider a pharmaceutical company supplying critical drugs to a city. Enabling every drug product at batch and serial item level to have a digital twin of its physical self will allow for exchange of product related data to happen between manufacturer, the supply chain, the city authorities, end consumers and the products themselves. Read on to see how the pharmaceutical industry could look like in the not so distant future.
Smart Logistics & Traceability: Digitally tagged consumer products such as medical products will paint a clearer picture of each item’s journey from the manufacturing facility to the hands of a customer, resulting in intelligent movement of products characterized by autonomy. Each time a product moves, whether it’s from the factory to a truck, or from the truck to a warehouse, its location and movement will be logged against its digital twin in real time with the help of a scanner, RFID reader, smartphone or other connected devices.
So, when situations arise where brands or smart city authorities become aware of substandard or defective products in circulation, the process of factoring on the production source for them and a faster and leaner product recall will become easier by tracing back to the relevant point in the product’s journey.
Smarter Production & Distribution Channels: Smart connected products will help in procuring the right amount in the right place at the right time. Complete visibility at all events of the supply chain will allow brands to better predict demand in respective locations in a city. Better predictive ability will help them to create seamless intelligent systems capable of efficiently managing production and distribution channels, ultimately leading to reduction of wastage by preventing accumulation of unused medicines.
In fact, brands will be able to predict demand on a much larger scale than before. They will anticipate when a particular medicine is supposed to run out at the city-level and trigger production cycles for the particular product.
Smarter response to Public Health Crises: With IoT powered smart products, the engagement and the monitoring does not stop at the customer level. Even after the product leaves the shelf, customers can input valuable data through the digital twins which can be mined into to tailor smarter responses to public health emergency situations.
For example, city authorities will be aware of exactly how many medical products are in inventories across the city by keeping track of their movement across every touchpoint in the supply chain. In situations where a contagious disease breaks out, public health officials will be instantly alerted by hospitals that are also hooked onto the network. By keeping track of the quantity and location of stocks of medicines dispersed across city, public health officials will always be prepared to tackle such high priority situations as they can more efficiently assess and redirect required medicines to appropriate locations.
Even smarter, cities of the future could be prepared for seasonal illnesses by predicting their onset based on algorithms derived from a mix of data from weather forecasts, hospital reports and product supply chains.
Smarter Citizens: Digital twins will give rise to smarter citizens, who will be capable of using smartphones to digitally interact with the packaging in order to obtain accurate information pertaining to authenticity, ingredients, color-coded expiry dates, instructions for use (IFU) etc. Not only will digital twins of medical products enforce transparency, but they will help in improving health literacy by weeding out counterfeits and providing easy-to-read and user-friendly formats to dispense IFUs.
Medical products empowered by IoT will also lay the foundations for a multiway communication channel between consumers, manufacturers, and city authorities, especially aiding researchers to collect and analyze feedbacks for clinical trials and development of new cures.
Smarter ways to tackle Counterfeits: Falsified medical products take the top spot in the fraudulent products market, being worth US$163 billion to $217 billion per year. Falsified, substandard and unlicensed medicines and medical devices pose a serious threat to public health. Counterfeit medicines are on the rise and no place remains untouched by them.
However, medical products with digital twins can have vast implications in fighting the war against falsified medical products. The sophisticated digital tags on these products can act as a unique identifier, at the same time providing a user-friendly way to verify their authenticity. Both retailers and consumers just need to authenticate the product using the digital tag which will allow it to confirm the product’s genuineness by running it against an online database.
Going one step further by taking advantage of a highly connected ecosystem, fraudulent products can instantly be reported by consumers directly to manufacturers and city authorities. City authorities can thus keep track of regions in the city reporting counterfeits and crack down on the sources for such illegal operations.
The goal of smart cities is to create intelligent urban spaces and infrastructures to improve the lives of their citizens. But the first step towards this goal is to set up digital twins for products to bring them onto the Internet of Things platform. For these automated and intelligent systems would be impossible without various products generating and transmitting data about themselves. At this point, we have barely scratched the surface with IoT’s potential to create smarter cities, and smart connected products will lead the way in laying the foundation for the cities of the future.
As we covered in the past, Gartner is out with their predictions for IoT. This time for the year's 2018-2023. The announcement was made at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.
Nick Jones, research vice president at Gartner said, “The IoT will continue to deliver new opportunities for digital business innovation for the next decade, many of which will be enabled by new or improved technologies. CIOs who master innovative IoT trends have the opportunity to lead digital innovation in their business.”
And CIOs if you're not paying attention, get on it. Gartner says you need skills and partners to support IoT. Come 2023 the average CIO will be responsible for more than three times as many endpoints as this year.
Gartner shortlisted the 10 most strategic IoT technologies and trends that will enable new revenue streams and business models, as well as new experiences and relationships:
Trend No. 1: Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Gartner forecasts that 14.2 billion connected things will be in use in 2019, and that the total will reach 25 billion by 2021, producing immense volume of data. “Data is the fuel that powers the IoT and the organization’s ability to derive meaning from it will define their long term success,” said Mr. Jones. “AI will be applied to a wide range of IoT information, including video, still images, speech, network traffic activity and sensor data.”
The technology landscape for AI is complex and will remain so through 2023, with many IT vendors investing heavily in AI, variants of AI coexisting, and new AI-based tolls and services emerging. Despite this complexity, it will be possible to achieve good results with AI in a wide range of IoT situations. As a result, CIOs must build an organization with the tools and skills to exploit AI in their IoT strategy.
Trend No. 2: Social, Legal and Ethical IoT
As the IoT matures and becomes more widely deployed, a wide range of social, legal and ethical issues will grow in importance. These include ownership of data and the deductions made from it; algorithmic bias; privacy; and compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation.
“Successful deployment of an IoT solution demands that it’s not just technically effective but also socially acceptable,” said Mr. Jones. “CIOs must, therefore, educate themselves and their staff in this area, and consider forming groups, such as ethics councils, to review corporate strategy. CIOs should also consider having key algorithms and AI systems reviewed by external consultancies to identify potential bias.”
Trend No. 3: Infonomics and Data Broking
Last year’s Gartner survey of IoT projects showed 35 percent of respondents were selling or planning to sell data collected by their products and services. The theory of infonomics takes this monetization of data further by seeing it as a strategic business asset to be recorded in the company accounts. By 2023, the buying and selling of IoT data will become an essential part of many IoT systems. CIOs must educate their organizations on the risks and opportunities related to data broking in order to set the IT policies required in this area and to advise other parts of the organization.
Trend No. 4: The Shift from Intelligent Edge to Intelligent Mesh
The shift from centralized and cloud to edge architectures is well under way in the IoT space. However, this is not the end point because the neat set of layers associated with edge architecture will evolve to a more unstructured architecture comprising of a wide range of “things” and services connected in a dynamic mesh. These mesh architectures will enable more flexible, intelligent and responsive IoT systems — although often at the cost of additional complexities. CIOs must prepare for mesh architectures’ impact on IT infrastructure, skills and sourcing.
Trend No. 5: IoT Governance
As the IoT continues to expand, the need for a governance framework that ensures appropriate behavior in the creation, storage, use and deletion of information related to IoT projects will become increasingly important. Governance ranges from simple technical tasks such as device audits and firmware updates to more complex issues such as the control of devices and the usage of the information they generate. CIOs must take on the role of educating their organizations on governance issues and in some cases invest in staff and technologies to tackle governance.
Trend No. 6: Sensor Innovation
The sensor market will evolve continuously through 2023. New sensors will enable a wider range of situations and events to be detected, current sensors will fall in price to become more affordable or will be packaged in new ways to support new applications, and new algorithms will emerge to deduce more information from current sensor technologies. CIOs should ensure their teams are monitoring sensor innovations to identify those that might assist new opportunities and business innovation.
Trend No. 7: Trusted Hardware and Operating System
Gartner surveys invariably show that security is the most significant area of technical concern for organizations deploying IoT systems. This is because organizations often don’t have control over the source and nature of the software and hardware being utilised in IoT initiatives. “However, by 2023, we expect to see the deployment of hardware and software combinations that together create more trustworthy and secure IoT systems,” said Mr. Jones. “We advise CIOs to collaborate with chief information security officers to ensure the right staff are involved in reviewing any decisions that involve purchasing IoT devices and embedded operating systems.”
Trend 8: Novel IoT User Experiences
The IoT user experience (UX) covers a wide range of technologies and design techniques. It will be driven by four factors: new sensors, new algorithms, new experience architectures and context, and socially aware experiences. With an increasing number of interactions occurring with things that don’t have screens and keyboards, organizations’ UX designers will be required to use new technologies and adopt new perspectives if they want to create a superior UX that reduces friction, locks in users, and encourages usage and retention.
Trend No. 9: Silicon Chip Innovation
“Currently, most IoT endpoint devices use conventional processor chips, with low-power ARM architectures being particularly popular. However, traditional instruction sets and memory architectures aren’t well-suited to all the tasks that endpoints need to perform,” said Mr. Jones. “For example, the performance of deep neural networks (DNNs) is often limited by memory bandwidth, rather than processing power.”
By 2023, it’s expected that new special-purpose chips will reduce the power consumption required to run a DNN, enabling new edge architectures and embedded DNN functions in low-power IoT endpoints. This will support new capabilities such as data analytics integrated with sensors, and speech recognition included in low cost battery-powered devices. CIOs are advised to take note of this trend as silicon chips enabling functions such as embedded AI will in turn enable organizations to create highly innovative products and services.
Trend No. 10: New Wireless Networking Technologies for IoT
IoT networking involves balancing a set of competing requirements, such as endpoint cost, power consumption, bandwidth, latency, connection density, operating cost, quality of service, and range. No single networking technology optimizes all of these and new IoT networking technologies will provide CIOs with additional choice and flexibility. In particular they should explore 5G, the forthcoming generation of low earth orbit satellites, and backscatter networks.
Gartner clients can learn more in the report “Top Strategic IoT Trends and Technologies Through 2023.”
Internet of Things is the talk of the town over in construction, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and home automation. But we are yet to fully tap into the potential of IoT driven solutions to trigger disruption in and deliver value to the consumer retail industry.
Enabling smart attributes and inter-connectivity to store assets can have a plethora of exciting applications: engaging customer experiences, leaner and more efficient store operations, products and services as well as opening up of new streams for revenue generation. According to Zebra Technologies, 7 out of 10 retail brands will be investing in IoT technology by 2021 and a few have already begun rolling out IoT powered smart stores and services. With more and more retailers looking to reimagine every aspect of their supply chain with technology, let us look at some future possibilities for IoT in the retail industry :
1. Creating Experiences with Lighting
Lighting devices are an ubiquitous presence inside any retail store and connected smart lighting can do more than save energy. Emerging technology is exploring avenues to utilize connected and automated smart lighting for retail displays to create superior customer experiences and indoor positioning, expanding the horizon for an experiential store.
Retail giant Carrefour partnered with Philips to install LEDs in one of their hypermarkets in Lille, France. Enabled with Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology, these LEDs emit a code which is readable by any camera on a smartphone, connecting the smartphone to a digital experience provided by the store. Customers can then locate items on their shopping list using the indoor positioning activated by the LEDs, experiencing an in-store navigation system.
2. Smart Packaging and Digital Labeling
Under the constant pressures of demands for more consumer transparency and capricious regulations, brands and retailers are running out of space on the physical packaging of products to put relevant information. IoT will play a major role in the future of the labeling and packaging industry as brands turn to technology to solve challenges related to packaging.
QLIKTAG Software is providing solutions using their IoT platform to enable all products to have a globally unique identifier “QLIKTAG” and hence a digital twin, allowing “dumb” products to have a presence in and participate in the Internet through smart devices. These digital tags, consisting of barcodes, QR codes and Data matrix codes, pave the way for a vast variety of digital interactions like better stock and inventory management throughout the supply chain, product traceability all through its lifecycle, consumer transparency in multiple languages, product authentication, consumer feedback, insight and analytics as well as better consumer engagement experiences. Brands also save on costs incurred in reprinting and repackaging as these digital tags allow real time edits and updates of label content remotely.
3. Smarter Inventory Management Solutions
The future of retail will see increased integration of technology into brick and mortar stores and a more connected ecosystem giving rise to sophisticated experiences for both customers and retailers. IoT will enable the development of smarter inventory management solutions that will be capable of detecting and solving out-of-stock situations on its own.
WiseShelf is converting shelves in retail stores into smart shelves to address the issue of shelf out-of-stock incidents. Equipped with light sensors, the shelves can detect when an item is removed from the shelf and send alerts to the management application through WiFi when it assesses low levels of stock. Apart from leading to more efficient restocking operations and inventory management, these smart shelves are also freeing up employees to engage in more customer interactions. They are also providing key data and analytics on popularity of products, enabling better design of store layout in accordance to foot traffic.
4. Automated Events Of Supply Chain
Plenty of countries are plagued by an ageing population and rising labor costs and retailers as a result are turning to digital solutions to reinvent supply chains. Panasonic in partnership with Trial Company Inc. conducted a demonstration experiment for an automated self-checkout system with RFID tagged shopping baskets and products. The smart shopping baskets are capable of calculating the total cost and the number of items in the basket due to the RFID tags, generating your bill when you place it on the checkout counter. Not only does it allow automated billing, but on being placed on the self checkout counters, the bottom of the basket can open up releasing all contents into a bag, which the customer can collect and leave.
5. Facilitating Omni-channel Retailing
In order to consolidate online shopping practices with in-store ones, retailers are looking to ingrain technology into physical stores for a seamless customer experience. Ralph Lauren launched interactive fitting rooms in its flagship store in Manhattan, furnished with RFID tagged interactive mirrors. Powered by retail technology platform Oak Labs, the mirrors automatically detect and display the clothing items brought into the room along with available sizes, colors and recommendations for a complete look. Enriching the entire digital experience, customers also have the option to call an associate on the floor to the fitting room, to bring more items to try out for example.
6. Reducing Food Wastage and Spoilage
IoT could have vast implications in reducing global food wastage and spoilage, especially at the retail level. Wasteless, a startup from Israel, has successfully implemented IoT enabled digital pricing labels in an international Spanish retail store in an effort to reduce food waste. Using data regarding expiry dates encoded into the barcodes or RFID tags on labels, Wasteless’s platform enables a dynamic pricing system with the cost of the product dependent on its freshness, becoming cheaper as it nears its expiry date. The platform has led to reduction of waste by 33%, better inventory management and monitoring of products in terms of their expiry dates to reduce out-of-stock incidents as well as improved sales by allowing customers a more dynamic pricing range to shop from.
7. Food Traceability and Quality Control
The entire food supply chain will see a transformation as IoT enabled sensors and smart devices will become more common to track and optimize each supply chain event. With more demands for fresher food products and sustainable sourcing, these sensors will be able to collect and transmit relevant information like location, temperature etc to all supply chain stakeholders in real time. Consumers buying at retail stores can scan digital tags like QR codes, Data matrix codes or RFID tags on packaging to get assurance about the quality and provenance of the food product.
Zest Labs is working to improve real time visibility for farm to shelf at all levels of the supply chain. Their unique ZIPR code (Zest Intelligent Pallet Routing) enables real time tracking and monitoring of the actual freshness of each pallet of food product, using a combination of wireless IoT sensors and cloud based predictive analytics and machine learning. The result is in supply chain managers being able to make better decisions about sending a particular pallet across a certain distance based on its freshness, thus preventing food spoilage in-transit.
The discussion around IoT has been around since last 5 years. Take those 2020 projections to the table, and see how many have quoted them as the moment of truth for IoT. But those projections and data remained as it is in 2018 with mass adoption yet to become a reality.
As an IoT practitioner what amazes me is why only a handful enterprises and products have made it so far.
The undeniable truth about IoT is that it definitely brings huge competitive advantage to the table for consumer products and enterprises. While scaling IoT and building LPWAN networks that had more than 100,000 nodes we say more than just connectivity, we saw revolution, we saw how fast we could reduce “revenue leakage”, we saw how fast we could bring “disruption” to the table and we definitely saw business models that were never seen before.
The moment of Truth for me in IoT was when I built an LPWAN network that was more efficient than a six sigma process - That’s how powerful IoT really is!
But, let’s get to the point, what I really said before are the results. There are so many steps to actually reach there. When I take lessons from the software world, there’s something called “First mover’s advantage”, well that changes when it comes to IoT.
First movers fail, that too miserably. First movers for the most part are someone that fail and create a path for others.
So, what is it that makes adopting IoT so difficult?
Unfamiliar territory for business buyers
How many enterprises do you see that still run on managed data centers and legacy apps? Why do you think they aren’t adopting amazing next generation cloud technologies? Now put IoT at the center stage and try to understand this. At minimum there are three technologies that need closer inspect for any IoT implementation in enterprises: Cloud, hardware and wireless technologies.
Cloud has evolved and maturity is good enough to make sure that the adoption remains streamlined. But even with a mature technology, IoT use case challenges all forms of our existing cloud connectivity models.
As far as hardware is concerned, the last 30 years of manufacturing and other core engineering industries have been working, we have seen mass adoption of close sourced hardware in form of PLM and other technologies. With such a heavy industrial adoption, closed source tech has associated heavy costs even with minor pivots. This created agility issues that are difficult for industries to look through as they can’t simply throw away their entire infrastructure.
Open source tech has been influencing and driving IoT since last 3 years. But majority of our core engineering industries have largely been unaware of how open source tech works. There are potential pitfalls and immense opportunities with open source tech that software world has been extensively leveraging. But with hardwares, everything has a cost or license associated with it. With this closed nature of hardware industry, it gets difficult to customize off-the-shelf products to match with specific process or innovate on top it.
Nobody, absolutely nobody has figured this out yet. No matter what you implement can be broken down, or at least blocked to create service disruption. Internal processes being disrupted is one thing, but what’s even more damaging is your IoT product/service compromising customer’s privacy.
It was until 2015, when we shifted IoT communication security from 64 bit encryption to 128 and then to 256 bit encryption. OWASP has established some best practices and awareness around IoT security, but as I said before this has been a largely the biggest factor preventing IoT adoption in enterprises as well as consumer facing products.
Extremely painstaking product development
Lack of understanding of how IoT technologies work, how IoT product development should be done, and how the costs of product development should be controlled, etc makes IoT product development a discouraging step for many enterprises.
The technology fragmentation and lack of standardization further increases the pain that C-suites have to go through when they implement IoT programs.
For example, we were in middle of implementing a mesh network based out of Zigbee back in 2015, when we meet folks from Bluetooth SIG and nRF that hinted us towards an upcoming mesh network on nRF’s stack.
We saw the subsequent release in 2016, with an extremely easy to manage and govern stack. Point being that these technologies are evolving faster than ever, while the opportunity window seems to be shrinking as the technologies mature as well. So, it really boils down to risk vs opportunities and tons of fragmentation and vagueness ahead of it.
The way we have been building connectivity in the last 2 decades was dependent upon wireless, and built for a local-on-premise infrastructure. That had its benefits before Industry 4.0, but now things have changed.
“If you can connect it, you can improve it”
But we never built anything for low power and wireless connectivity. What we built was supposed to talk over RS232s, USB serial or PLCs.
I have met enterprises that have invested more than $20M and can’t replace even 10% of their existing investments in the next 2 years. They are stuck, stuck with legacy equipments that somehow needs to be connected.
If you have a programming experience like I do, you would straightaway think that simply by passing a serial command over USB or RS232/487 interfaces you should receive this information. But things aren’t this easy. The plant that I spoke about had 67 different devices, all have been implemented with Fortran, Cobol, Visual Basic, etc with each equipement being uniquely built. Most of the documentation was lost and the enterprise rarely knew what commands did what. It took us a month to figure that out for their behalf.
Even though we figured out all communication protocols, it was another puzzle to get through how the legacy programs actually worked. Remember, we were doing all of this without documentation. We even had the original programmers sat across the table and look at these programs. Even they couldn’t recall what they did at that time. Glad that code documentation and architectural documentation are a real thing these days.
Lack of off-the-shelf solutions to match for processes
Not each and every C-suite out there is looking towards custom hardware product development as a potential solution. With that being said, off-the-shelf solutions aren’t customizable enough to match their requirements. Not without inducing significant risks to the entire operation the C-suite is concerned with.
Take Beacon’s for example, ready made off-the-shelf beacons look good at the start, but if you are really looking to induce the battery life, implement a different routing algorithm and add more number of states, you will find them to fall short in a lot of ways.
Lack of subject matter expertise
I would personally rate this as one of the major concerns that industry executives have when they work with external or internal teams on IoT programs.
There’s a lack of understanding and product empathy in general when it comes to IoT. How many IoT vendors have you came across that talk about building automation systems and can get into specifics of HVAC?
If that wasn’t enough, the real revenue leakage in an industry comes from understanding real processes, not just blindly enabling tracking. Lack of real subject matter expertise is what prevents IoT adoption.
Well, these are some of the largest challenges that IoT faces before it goes mainstream. If you have any questions, or if you have any suggestions, feel free to drop a comment.
The fourth edition of the Internet of Things Solutions World Congress (IoTSWC), which took place in Barcelona earlier this month, signaled an increasing interest in the technology, with the number of attendees jumping by 25 percent year over year, to 16,250. The range of topics discussed shows that IoT is being embraced by companies in every sector, and that the technology has now passed from the development phase to the implementation of practical solutions whose results are increasingly evident.
The 200 speeches and panels were divided into thematic areas (manufacturing, healthcare, connected transport, energy and utilities, buildings and infrastructures and open industry). Along with two related events, AI & Cognitive Systems Forum and Blockchain Solutions World, these included -- at the insistence of Richard Soley, Executive Director of the Industrial IoT Consortium -- presentations of concrete use cases. The Industrial IoT Consortium was co-organizer of the event together with Fira Barcelona.
Bringing order to the Babel of protocols
Although natural selection -- perhaps facilitated by the future evolution of 5G networks -- is likely to reduce the number, too many standards and communication protocols for the Internet of Things will continue for a long time. The "translation" of the signals and their integration into information flows will therefore continue to represent an opportunity for system integrators and companies operating in this sector. Although frameworks and platforms are emerging to manage and standardize the different peripheral systems (the Foundation's open source EdgeX Foundry proposal deserves attention), they do not exist yet and there will be no "plug and play" solutions for IoT for a while.
Artificial intelligence to give value to data
Artificial intelligence is the fundamental ingredient needed to make sense of the vast amount of data collected these days, and increase its value for business. The easiest way to implement it is to resort to the API services of cloud operators such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft and IBM. The risk of using standard solutions accessible to all is that they reduce the competitive advantage of the enterprises that use them, since they can be easily implemented by competitors. Creating a proprietary IA platform, however, will not be possible for everyone.
Edge computing to overcome the limits of the cloud
The cloud, meanwhile, is showing its limits: Fast and constant connectivity is not always possible, especially in the case of connected vehicles or installations in remote areas; latency between sending data, processing and response is not always compatible with certain applications; and storage costs are are high even for data that is not necessarily indispensable.
There is therefore a growing tendency to relocate part of the storage and processing of data to the periphery of the network, close to sensors and connected objects. This so-called "edge computing" will be increasingly important and increasingly intelligent, thanks to chips optimized for machine learning and solutions able to bring "on premises" the AI algorithms of the "usual suspects", such as Amazon Greengrass, Google Cloud IoT Edge (still in alpha version) or Microsoft Azure IoT Edge.
Digital twins pass from objects to production flows
The creation of a digital twin, which thanks to data collected by sensors can provide a realistic virtual representation of products and systems, will be increasingly applied to entire production processes, allowing not only the monitoring of entire plants, but also predicting what will happen when a new model is out into production, or some variables change. This, according to proponents of the technology, will lead to greater efficiency, faster time-to-market and fewer glitches and non-compliance issues.
The agricultural sector is in the middle of the data-driven transformation. Farmers and commodity traders are heading towards technological innovation in agriculture, adopting data analytics and smart farming technologies. Facing a crucial period in their history, agricultural businesses are tasked with combating the issues that will change not only their working methods but the world as we know it.
The agribusiness issues at hand
One of the greatest pain points associated with agriculture is the ability to predict the events that will achieve a given result.
Conditions play even less in the favour of farms positioned within markets that face rising production costs. The global population reaching 9.6 billion people by 2050, up from around 7 billion at present, according to forecasts from the United Nations, combined with the spread of economic prosperity are adding great pressure to the market. The UN suggests the doubling of crop production by 2050 as a countermeasure to this growth.
Some farmers simply cannot increase their land in order to grow more crops. As a result, there is a case for technology to make better use of the space available.
How IoT and predictive analytics can solve agriculture’s pressing problems
To become more efficient, agricultural businesses need data and plenty of it. This opens the door for technological innovation, as the size of these businesses and their plots of land prevent any kind of manual surveying.
Already we are seeing an active use of IoT devices to analyse the status of crops, capturing real-time data with sensors. For instance, with soil sensors, farmers can detect any irregular conditions such as high acidity and efficiently tackle these issues to improve their yield.
The data gathered from sensors allows to apply advanced analytics and get the insight that aid decisions around harvesting, while machine learning can transform the figures into solid predictions. Using advanced analytics, agricultural businesses can forecast yields, foresee unexpected weather conditions, predict market demand and mitigate risks, as well as better plan their capacity.
Agricultural drone is also among the key components of smart farming today. Tasked with the surveying of crop and livestock conditions from up high, their use of time lapsing within onboard cameras is helping farmers identify problems in areas like irrigation, which would otherwise go undetected.
Other members of the drone family allow for the spraying of crops at a greater accuracy than a tractor. As an added benefit, this also seeks to reduce the risk of human exposure to harmful chemicals. Back to ground level, there is potential for other robots to help out with manual duties like planting, ploughing and meat production.
The end goal in this case? A more efficient, more effective farm.
To spell things out: population growth could mean that every agricultural business will have to increase their levels of productivity over the next 30 years. That said, a review of the tech on today’s market suggests even the most specific problems can be matched with smart agribusiness solutions.
In the era of smart agriculture, IoT and predictive analytics are powering more efficient operations around the world. Combining IoT with analytics, agribusinesses get accurate predictions for crops and market conditions, allowing to increase their yields and profits. Smart application of technologies can facilitate warehouse and inventory management, help plan and execute seasonal works with the automated flow of data from the fields and agro-research labs.
Get in touch to discuss where the IoT can help futureproof your own agricultural business.
Originally published at eleks.com
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