The world of technology is full of acronyms and technical terms. It’s funny, then, when one of the most innovative and disruptive technologies to emerge in recent times has a name so, well, vague. As a term, the Internet of Things probably isn’t going to win any witty branding or marketing prizes, in fact it doesn’t really explain what it is at all. Fortunately, though, that’s where we come in!
The team here Nutbourne work as a managed service provider in London; we know just how mystifying the world of technology can be, so we want to help simplify it by offering a spot of jargon-busting. Without further ado, then, here’s our breakdown of the Internet of Things…
What Actually Is It?
A good question to start off with – might as well explain what we’re actually dealing with here! In its broadest sense, the Internet of Things (which we’ll refer to as IoT from now on for the sake of ease) refers to the connected network of objects – physical objects, that is, hence ‘things’ – that use the internet as a means of exchanging data/information of some sort.
Think for a moment, if you will, about the number of ‘smart’ devices you either have directly in your life or that you’ve at least heard of. Smart fridges, thermostats, doorbells, watches and even toasters are now becoming commonplace. The extent of the IoT goes well beyond simply the consumer notion of a ‘smart’ home or lifestyle. It’s helped revolutionise virtually every industry, globally. How, exactly? Read on…
Why Is It Such A Big Deal?
It’s a big deal because it’s having a big impact – across the board. Here are just some of the industries which have seen their processes drastically altered because of the IoT.
Agriculture is one of those sectors many of us still pen as being ‘traditional’ and at the more rudimentary end of the technological spectrum. The reality, however, is that modern farming and agriculture utilises some of the most state-of-the-art technology available, today. Wait, really? Absolutely.
‘Smart’ farming utilises internet-connected sensors and remote technologies to better understand everything from water stress to crop yield analysis. From drone surveillance to automatic spreading. In an era in which intensive agriculture is being increasingly scrutinised, the IoT is enabling farmers to make better, smarter decisions that benefit both them and the land.
The manufacturing floor has also benefitted from this smarter connectivity. Machinery is being monitored to assess its output and condition, equipment is being fitted with smart sensors to speed up location tracking times and health and safety conditions are being drastically improved through the implementation of sensor technologies. In the oil industry, for instance, smart technology is helping detect when machinery conditions are approaching critically dangerous levels.
Augmented reality (AR) technology is very much part of the IoT and it could potentially change the way we shop in the future. Major stores like GAP, for instance, have trialled virtual dressing rooms in which you can try on clothes without physically putting them on. Inputting your measurements, you can take an item of clothing and ‘try it on’ with the item in question being digitally mapped onto an artificial bodice.
Although this is certainly on the more… experimental end of the IoT spectrum, shall we say? It still just goes to show how virtually every facet of our day-to-day lives can conceivably be influenced or impacted upon by internet-connected devices in one way or another.
Danger’s Never Far Away…
The progress and developments afforded by the introduction of the IoT has been nothing short of phenomenal. Where there’s progress, however, danger never lurks too far away. That’s where our managed service provider in London can help. Endpoint security goes hand in hand with the expansion of the IoT. If you’ve got a device that’s connected to a network, that’s an endpoint which can be targeted by would-be criminals and hackers. Your smart watch might be a Godsend when it comes to reminding you about that bi-weekly work meeting, but is it also putting you at risk?
Part of our remit as a London managed service provider is conducting security and network audits; this helps us establish potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Even those companies that think they’re pretty well-protected when it comes to their cybersecurity actually end up finding that they weren’t quite as watertight as they thought… We can oversee the implementation of cybersecurity solutions as well as suggesting where improvements can be made or changed made.
If you’d like to find out more about our work as a managed service provider in London, get in touch! Contact us on +44 (0) 203 137 7273. Or, you can fill out one of our online enquiry forms on our website. We’d love to hear from you. Alternatively, if you’d like to find out more insights from the world of IT, computing, technology and managed services, then visit our blog page, here!