There’s a lot of talk surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT). Individuals and businesses alike are excited at the possibilities the IoT brings as our lives become even more connected. But as with all things regarding revolutionary technologies, a number of myths have cropped up about the IoT. Perhaps it’s understandable that people with only a passing interest in technology would get some incorrect ideas about the IoT, but even seasoned tech companies have bought into some of these myths. These myths not only affect the perception of the IoT but also its development and support. Busting these myths should be a priority as we inch closer to an IoT-dominated world.
It’s not all about the hardware
Much of the focus on the IoT tends to center on the hardware. It feels like the Internet of Things is practically defined by the sensors that are and will be used. Placing sensors in objects is the quickest way to get them connected to the Internet, but the IoT is about much more than hardware and sensors. Data intelligence is a key component that too many people overlook. Having sensors in everything will do little good if data management is poor.
In this sense, companies need to learn the most efficient way to gather and analyze data, essentially only distributing the data that’s the most important. It’s easy to get flooded with too much data, so data intelligence is a crucial step to make IoT information more manageable. That might be through a Big Data as a Service (BDaaS) vendor, or it could be done through in-house talent.
Reimagining is just as important as the “things”
At the same time, lots of businesses want to emphasize the new “things” they’re bringing to the Internet of Things. Consumer shows are filled to the brim with new IoT gadgets that many claim will surely change everybody’s life. Yes, new gadgets are exciting; but the real changes that most consumers will experience won’t come from completely new ideas but rather from old ideas that have simply been reimagined to work in an IoT world. The example of a fridge automatically ordering milk from an online vendor is one that is used often, but it serves to highlight the types of reimagined products that most people will gravitate toward. The same thing goes for smart clothing – clothes that will gather data on your activities. It’s not a new product, but it takes an old item and transforms it into a useful addition to the IoT.
Having no universal standard isn’t a bad thing
One of the biggest concerns people have about the IoT is the fact that no universal standard has been established that addresses compatibility and security. Many organizations are working on the idea, which is important for IoT devices to be able to communicate with each other; but many experts believe we’ll never actually have a standard used by every company for every item. Is that a bad thing? Conventional wisdom seems to say yes, but the answer may actually be no.
Multiple standards will likely become the norm, but that may be a beneficial development. More innovative ideas and products may be developed as a result since developers and creators don’t have to conform to one set standard. The main downside would be to the security aspect; but major leaps have been made in making devices, networks and infrastructure more secure against cyberattackers.
The IoT isn’t just about future technology
Conversations about the Internet of Things often treat it as a concept that utilizes future technology, but that isn’t really the case. Many of the components and technologies that make up the IoT are already in use elsewhere; they’re simply being improved for use in the Internet of Things. The one major thing that the IoT adds is the infrastructure needed to help devices communicate with each other while gathering data. Everything else just uses in more effective ways what we already have.
As businesses begin to understand how the IoT works, they’ll be able to develop the products and applications for it that will change lives. Many have looked at the Internet of Things as the next big revolution in technology, and it’s hard to argue against the point. Making sure myths about the IoT don’t perpetuate should remain a priority so the move to the IoT happens smoothly and without problems.
Ari Amster is director of sales channels at Qubole. He has more than 20 years of business development, sales and business analysis experience in technology and finance. Follow him on Twitter.