The Internet of Things (IoT) is all the technology around us connected to the Internet or to other devices. Everything—from our smart TVs to Google home devices—is part of the Internet of Things. Each day new smart devices are introduced that replace the old boring appliances in our homes. This is not just happening in our homes but in all aspects of our lives, even our jobs. This is how IoT will impact the future of work.
One of the first changes that come with IoT is the amount of data that companies manage. Companies already see tons of information from its users, from unstructured to structured data. That’s how Big Data was born and all the tools that companies use to analyze it.
But with all the objects in our lives transitioning into becoming smart, the amount of data will become overwhelming. Today, most people have a smartphone, smartwatch, smart TVs, and maybe one or two intelligent appliances. Now imagine everything around you being smart, from clothes and accessories to streets and buildings.
This production of data will explode the demand for other technologies like cloud storage, computing power, connectivity, and so on. Also, if data science and Big Data analytics are already obtaining powerful insights with the data that is collected today, there is no say in what they could achieve with that much information.
Enhanced Need For Security
With the increase in information comes more risks from attacks. Some people believe data will be the currency of the future, and the companies that have more access and better quality of data will have to protect it. The protection has to be not only for their customers and clients but for their operations.
The problem with digital and online systems is that they are always at risk of attacks. So, in a world where smart buildings, factories, and even cities become the norm, an attack could mean significant losses. Anything little like a breach of security of a building to something big like locking down a whole city could happen. Here is where Security Analysts and experts have to step up and start designing systems that could be scalable and secure.
So, the need for better security systems will increase a lot with the implementation of more IoT developments. However, as it stands, technology is growing faster than anyone expected, and privacy regulations are lagging behind. Also, even though the need for security improvements has increased, the number of cybersecurity professionals is still low compared to the demand.
Wearables are all the smart devices, sensors, and other technology that can be worn. Smartwatches are the most common examples, and most people nowadays have an Apple Watch or a Fitbit. But there are many other devices already in the market like smart rings, smart glasses, smart clothes, and more. All these intelligent devices are designed for personal use.
But the introduction of these devices in the workplace could create a whole new office environment. Not only that, but wearables will increase the safety of people that work in dangerous situations. Companies could collect data from all their workers and resolve issues before they cause problems, improve the safety of their employees, and even create personalized spaces.
Also, wearables can become a tool to improve communication and teamwork. Microsoft’s Hololens, for example, is a smart headset that creates a virtual office space where employees in different locations can collaborate in the same project. It uses augmented reality and virtual reality to make the experience possible.
In all companies, no matter the industry, collaboration is critical. So any tool or change that can improve collaboration in a business environment is a positive thing. IoT will only help to improve this part of working relationships. Things like Microsoft’s smart glasses will make the teams work in harmony.
Overall, this technology will optimize many of the processes that make any company work, making the office an environment that promotes high productivity levels. IoT will also make operations more automated, which means the employees will have more general tasks and will need more communication between them.
Key Technologies At Work
IOT encompases a lot of technologies that work together to make it possible. So, the implementation of IoT will impact other technologies. Some of these technologies are:
5G: One of the main issues that have stopped further development of IoT technologies is the lack of connection speed. This is not very important on a small scale, like devices on a home, because they can be connected through Wifi or Bluetooth. But at massive levels, in applications like smart cities, autonomous cars, and intelligent buildings, a fast connection is a must.
5G technology promises Internet speeds never seen before. It will reduce latency to almost zero making the transmission of information between devices and systems feel like it is happening in real-time.
Hardware: To create more IoT devices, engineers have to develop more powerful hardware. It not only has to be more powerful but more compact too. One of the keys around the IoT functionality is wearable tech, which means close spaces for robust tech.
Also, as mentioned in the beginning, more smart devices means more data; thus the need for bigger and more efficient cloud storage and computer capacity. All this translates to better hardware that can manage everything that will come their way.
Software: Not only all these new smart devices will need advanced software to function but also to communicate with each other. For example, a smartwatch sometimes works as a small phone on its own with a SIM card. But it can also do the same through a Bluetooth connection with a smartphone.
But it needs a complex set of programming to make it all seem seamless and user friendly. These platforms will need interfaces and software that make them work. And with the new developments, engineers will come up with new ways to make the experience more enjoyable.
The Internet of Things is just beginning because it still has many limitations in terms of connectivity, hardware, and software. However, the point that has reached today is already creating an impact. And when it becomes fully ingrained into our day-to-day life, including our work, it will change how we live and interact.