Will the Internet of Things be an enabler or the great disrupter?

There is a great deal of hype surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) but their does not yet seem to be a consensus on whether it will have a positive or negative impact.

There is, however, one thing that companies everywhere can agree on. Namely that the Internet of Things will bring change and that it is up to businesses and employees to react.

One of the major impacts that IoT devices will have from a business point of view is that they will cause a significant increase in the amount of consumer data available. With more connected devices, whether they are found around the home or in someone’s car, businesses will know much more about their target audience. For companies that use this data effectively this could offer great insights that a give them a competitive edge.

On the other hand, this additional data also comes with its challenges. Businesses will need to be transparent with consumers regarding which data they are collecting and what they intend to do with it. If they are not, then serious issues regarding personal privacy could arise that could damage a company’s reputation. Similarly, firms will have to ensure that all IoT data complies with existing regulations regarding security and geographical locations or potentially face to financial repercussions.

The Internet of Things also has the potential to prove disruptive to a number of long standing industries. In the home energy sector, traditional suppliers are having to improve their service in the face of competition from Nest and similar smart thermostat companies, while security issues surrounding things like connected cars are also a concern.

Perhaps most pertinently, businesses must ensure that the network infrastructure is robust enough to manage additional connected devices otherwise the Internet of Things revolution could become more disruptive than enabling.

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