The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) is interconnected devices that can start, follow through and complete simple protocols without human initiation. The process is enabled by small, battery-powered modules that use radio signals to report data about their current location and environmental conditions (if equipped with sensors). IoT technology gives inanimate objects the ability to self monitor their status and alert humans when a change is detected outside of the established parameters.

How IoT Works

IoT devices need a dedicated communication network to enable connectivity.

IoT devices have different network requirements than typical wireless electronic devices. Smartphones and laptops use cellular networks or Wi-Fi to access large fragments of data–like websites and videos–through internet connections. IoT devices, however, do not need access to internet channels with large data streams because they are only sending small packets of data at periodic intervals or as triggered alerts.

IoT networks are designed for applications that use low data rates, require long battery lives and operate in remote and hard to reach locations. Because IoT devices are optimized for transmitting very brief messages, they can send and receive data at a fraction of the cost of typical data rates. In addition to lower connectivity costs, another benefit of sending small packets of data is power efficiency. The expectation is that IoT devices can be left in the field to do their job for up to 10 years at a time (or more) before requiring a battery replacement.

Why Implement an IoT Solution?

Business looking for long term ROI that enables growth should consider an investment in IoT technology. IoT applications use elements of wireless connectivity and sensor-driven alerts to bring better visibility and enhanced operational oversight to legacy systems. Law enforcement agencies can use asset tracking to enhance accountability for registered firearms and reduce replacement costs for missing weapons. By using remote monitoring, waste management companies can save labor and fuel by avoiding trips to trash bins that don’t need to be serviced.

Analysts are considering IoT as a future proof technology. It helps move static business models into more fluid operations by developing flexible workflows and applications that are able to evolve with the changing needs of the business. In the coming age of blockchain, 5G, increased transparency and regulations, an investment in IoT assures business operations will be able to prevail through changing times, trends and technologies over the coming decade and beyond.

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