In the future, the Internet of Things (IoT) will make the world a far more connected place – from smart homes, cities, and workplaces to faster, more efficient supply chains. The IoT is a network of interlinked devices that harness the internet to continuously capture and process data and analytics from physical objects. Such objects include mobile phones, cars, refrigerators, and factory machines. While the IoT will create a more connected and efficient economy, it will also present some major challenges for businesses.
How The IoT Will Modernize Supply Chains
With major telecommunications companies planning to switch to 5G, the IoT will soon get the high-speed networks it needs to function. As we previously reported, some U.S. companies plan to expand their 5G rollouts to millions of people and turn off their 3G networks by the end of this year. This switch is paving the way for IoT to expand across the globe.
As 5G takes hold, businesses will reap big benefits from high speed internet. Once fully implemented, 5G paired with IoT will bring more visibility and ease of function to global supply chains. By placing 5G-enabled IoT sensors on trucks, organizations can easily track their goods across the supply chain. They will also be able to keep a watchful eye on any issues that may arise as their products travel from one destination to the next. This process would reduce or even prevent valuable losses and delays.
“The low latency and faster throughput that 5G can offer should enable improved single item tagging and tracking, and faster access to inventory status,” Verizon states on its news site. “In turn, that can improve traceability by providing the ability to track and gather data at every step of the supply chain journey.”
IoT Technology is Ready, But Obstacles Remain
While the transformation to IoT will come with many positive changes, it will also bring some major challenges. During an interview with the The McKinsey Podcast in March, Mark Collins, a co-lead of McKinsey’s IoT work in North America, said IoT technology is “actually good enough” already. The bigger obstacles, he noted, have less to do with technology and more to do with leadership taking IoT seriously.
“We’ve had huge maturation in things like network connectivity, battery power, computer advanced analytics, et cetera,” he said, referring to the company’s research around IoT. “What we saw happen all too often was IoT being treated as a technology project, often run by the CIO or by a small business unit or factory plant all by themselves.”
Another obstacle for IoT is security, according to Joe Fizor, Director Of Solutions Engineering, Tbi Inc.
“Security should be a concern for anyone who welcomes a move to distributed data processing and intelligent devices,” Fizor wrote in TOOLBOX. “Companies whose digital infrastructure was designed for today’s data-processing will have to radically rethink how they collect, safeguard, and share information. Growth seldom happens without a few growing pains.”
As 5G gradually replaces 3G and 4G, the Internet of Things is likely to become reality. When it does, it will radically transform the way organizations communicate and do business. Is your organization prepared?
Want to Improve Your IoT Skills? Check out the IEEE Academy on IoT
Are you a professional engineer interested in improving your understanding of the Internet of Things? IEEE has created a new academy that combines existing IoT educational materials with the latest research and developments to help guide technical professionals in this expanding field.
IEEE Academies are primarily for technical professionals who need to understand new technical information quickly so they can apply it to their work. In addition to gaining new skills and knowledge, participants will also earn a certificate upon their completion. There are two IoT learning paths to choose from— and both are available on the IEEE Learning Network (ILN)!
IEEE Academy on Internet of Things (IoT): Communications Standards
Communication technology is an essential part of the Internet of Things as it allows devices to connect to each other. This learning path covers the basic principles of communication technology and practical usage of standardized communication. Learn more.
IEEE Academy on Internet of Things (IoT): Computing Platforms
IoT computing platforms are essential to the development and deployment of IoT applications. This learning path covers all these aspects by providing an overview of the current state-of-art and future trends on computing platforms for IoT applications. Learn more.
What Are IEEE Academies?
IEEE Academies are designed to teach in-demand technical concepts in a new way to IEEE members working in industry. This new learning format at IEEE will help members understand a technical concept without needing a deep background in that technology. This will ensure they understand the fundamental concepts so they can apply them in the context of their general work and technical needs. Learn more about IEEE Academies.
Fizor, Joe. (11 March 2022). 5G Rollout: Bringing the Internet of Things To Life. TOOLBOX.
(10 March 2022). How the use of 5G in supply chain operations can prevent future disruptions. Verizon News Center.
Chui, Michael and Collins, Mark. (7 March 2022). IoT comes of age. McKinsey.