In the face of accelerating global growth in IoT, many firms in Australia have yet to devise an IoT business strategy to help them connect and take part in the new economic opportunities that will be created by connecting just about everything.
Opportunities in IoT
According to a report prepared by PWC for the Australian Computer Society (ACS) entitled, Australia’s IoT Opportunity: Driving Future Growth, there’s a big opportunity for businesses in Australia. To take advantage of it, businesses need to think about the intelligent use of IoT and develop a solid IoT business strategy.
Looking at the substantial potential benefits of implementing an IoT business strategy in areas of construction, mining, manufacturing, healthcare and agriculture, the report says: “Across the five industries assessed, which represent 25% of Australia’s GDP, the IoT can achieve potential annual benefits of A$194–308 bn over a period of 8–18 years. This impact translates into average productivity improvements of around 2% p.a. across these industries.”
The report goes on to say: “If adopted at scale, it could significantly improve the productivity of several of the nation’s key industries and in doing so deliver substantial benefits to the whole economy. If, on the other hand, Australia fails to leverage this technology efficiently and effectively, the country risks a significant reduction in global competitiveness.”
Internet of Things Capabilities
Of course, IoT has so many different applications in so many different industries, including intelligent applications for smarter homes and offices, smarter transportation systems, smarter hospitals, smarter enterprises, and smarter factories.
Teamed with robotic process automation, companies can use IoT for streamlining processes and reducing human error, enhancing productivity, adopting predictive maintenance capabilities, and ultimately, gaining competitive advantage. In transport, IoT is not just paving the way for autonomous vehicles, marrying real-time on-board and trackside monitoring data from multiple tracking sensors has the potential to revolutionise rail travel.
Whichever way a business adopts IoT, it is increasingly important for companies to share information between things, people and processes. In fact, according to research firm IDC, by 2025, the total amount of data created by IoT devices in one year is expected to reach 79.4 zettabytes.
IoT security needs to be part of an IoT business strategy
With more data comes increased data security risk. Given the promise IoT holds for modern businesses, it is important for enterprises to identify the risks and challenges to ensure that all internet-connected devices are secure.
Every IoT business strategy needs to establish and maintain security across IoT deployments – not just the devices, but the data created by them. Major security risks you need to consider include:
- Insufficient monitoring of devices and systems to detect security issues
- Lack of governance to drive data security and privacy risk management
- Limited IoT and product security and privacy resources
- Minimal visibility of device inventory
- Sub-optimal maintenance of fielded and legacy products
It’s important to prioritise IoT security
To tackle these risks, you need to take action via active and ongoing control processes, procedures, automation and protection.
Getting back to the PWC report, “Given that a great deal of IoT technology is relatively new, many of the specific opportunities are still to be uncovered, and for some sectors, it could be a chance to undergo a radical transformation and make a fresh start. However, Australia cannot assume that this window of opportunity will remain open indefinitely.”
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