The Internet of Things (IoT), which encompasses machine-to-machine (M2M) communication technology, is a network of interconnected “smart gadgets” featuring microchips, sensors, with wireless communication capabilities. The IoT’s transformative potential stems from the fact that the sensory, identification, communication, networking, computing, and other information-based technologies that underpin it are applicable to almost any business, commerce, or service.
Existing technology and instruments can be easily connected to the Internet to interact with external data and respond to pre-programmed commands. “Smart” consumer technologies, wearables, “smart” manufacturing and infrastructure technologies, and unmanned transportation are among the key categories of IoT technology.
This technology offers the opportunity for us to interact and interface more with the world around us. Potentially, this could result in revolutionary and drastic changes in economic growth, development, education, training, and social well-being. Climate change, environmental preservation, energy and resource management, international relations and the political economy are all examples of global challenges that could potentially be addressed by the IoT.
IoT and the Environment
Climate change is a major issue facing the world’s population but using technology, we can find solutions. The IoT can potentially be used in a way that positively impacts the environment and leads to more sustainable business practices. IoT sensors can be used to cut down on energy use and track carbon emissions and waste. According to one study, smart energy measures could reduce carbon emissions by around 15% by 2030.
With governments around the world facing a large amount of pressure to reduce carbon emissions, IoT could be a very cost-effective solution. Smart sensors are relatively low in cost and can be used to track emissions better, identify emitters and find solutions. In addition, IoT can be used to set up predictive maintenance, helping to reduce emissions in the shipping industry.
Smart grids that offer manual switching between renewables and long-established power plants have been made possible by the Internet of Things, ensuring an uninterrupted power supply. This switching enables smart grids to support the fluctuating nature of renewable energy and provide users with a continuous supply of energy. This is particularly useful for renewable sources such as wind and solar, which are not always constant and cannot cope with demand during surge times.
IoT and the Economy
Aside from helping alleviate environmental issues, the IoT can potentially lead to enormous economic growth and better opportunities for citizens. The majority of these benefits are seen in manufacturing, and this industry has a lot of potential growth thanks to machine-machine communication. However, manufacturing isn’t the only area of the economy that can see improvements, with multiple industries all having potential for growth.
The potential benefits for businesses in developing nations are significant. These impacts are made even more promising by the fact that IoT, in a number of cases, is relatively simple to implement and can potentially save organisations high costs. With relatively little implementation, organisations can already save 4% to 5% of costs. Considering the potential for economic growth, governments may support more economic growth by promoting IoT adoption among enterprises. This will help to increase the competitiveness of the country’s industries while also generating additional tax revenue.
Productivity growth has been slowing across the world, particularly in developed countries. If a higher standard of living is to be attained, then more needs to be done to ensure better productivity and efficiency of global business. Implementing IoT technology can help change the way existing businesses operate, leading to smart businesses that require fewer man-hours in manual tasks.