IoT Data Engineers reviewing data analytics coming from industrial IoT devices.

Top IoT Questions Answered

What is IoT?

Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects, or “things,” that are incorporated with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems via the internet. Internet of Things (IoT) includes anything from common domestic devices to high-tech industrial machines. The technology behind IoT is called M2M, or machine-to-machine communication.

IoT has been around for a long time, but it has only recently become a mainstream topic. It’s easy to see why, nearly every object can now be “connected” and made “smart.”

How Does IoT Work?

Devices and objects with built-in sensors are connected to Internet of Things platforms to collect the data from those devices and apply analytics to share the most useful information with applications created to satisfy specific requirements.

These sophisticated IoT platforms can precisely identify whether the information is helpful or can be discarded. These analytics can be used to identify trends, generate recommendations, and identify potential issues before they develop.

When Was the Internet of Things Invented?

In the 1980s, a group of Carnegie Mellon university students decided to alter a Coca-Cola vending machine to allow for monitor its contents remotely. The idea of embedding sensors and intelligence into physical objects was first born. However, progress was slow, and the technology was complex.

Computer scientist Kevin Ashton first used the term “Internet of Things” in 1999. While working at Procter & Gamble, Ashton proposed putting radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips on products to follow them through a supply chain  He reportedly included the then-trending word “internet” in his proposal to capture the executives’ attention. And the phrase struck.

How Does IoT Increase Productivity?

If businesses are to remain competitive, they will need to streamline their business processes. Analytics is a major part of streamlining processes.

The combination of IoT and predictive intelligence will play a more critical role in resource management as it provides better visibility over data that is currently available. This visibility can allow organizations to optimize waste reduction, reduce costs, improve customer experience, and increase profits.

Real-time management of business-critical systems is a core function that enables businesses to create more value. This involves managing IoT assets in real-time and remotely for quality management, inventory control, risk management, disaster recovery, and security monitoring.

What are Useful IoT Projects?

Consumer Applications

Consumer IoT also refers to a range of smart devices that are used in households and small businesses. These include devices and applications that can be found inside single households, such as home automation, wearable devices, and connected cars. Other consumer IoT products may include such things as smart watches and health-tracking wearables.

  • Home Security has always been a big concern for homeowners. They want to know their homes will be safe and secure. IoT has had a big impact on home security, enabling us to see what is going on within our homes with more accuracy than ever before.
  • Smart Devices are not just in trend but have become almost a necessity of the time. Devices like smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, and AR/VR headsets are easy to use, encourage fitness, increase productivity, and support safe working practices.

Commercial or Enterprise Applications

Healthcare, education, and utilities are all making big strides in innovation thanks to Internet of Things. Health monitoring devices can share critical data to healthcare professionals. Parking lots at hospitals can be monitored by sensors than alert security guards if a car is missing or left unattended.

  • Remote patient monitoring devices gives rise to improved access to and ownership of personal health data. Continued innovation in this space will profoundly impact medical providers and reduce extended hospitalizations while enabling better patient care and immediate access to data.
  • Reducing food waste for food and beverage companies is a top priority. With the help of IoT devices, storage facilities can be continuously monitored for changes in temperature, tracking transportation and delivery times, and even chemical reactions.

What is the IIoT (Industrial IoT)?

Industrial applications of IIoT refers to the network of connected devices (e.g., industrial machines, sensors, and actuators) in industrial settings and assists in providing better insights for system management, maintenance, and ownership. The emergence of IIoT also ensures that enterprises have become more efficient, productive, and automated. To successfully implement IIoT, it is necessary to identify and prioritize use cases that can benefit the organization. We list some of the leading IIoT use cases below:

  • Predictive Maintenance Enterprises place a high priority on maintaining equipment and machinery, and routine maintenance is done to avoid breakdowns and downtime, which not only incurs significant costs but also affects customer experience. According to studies, most failures happen randomly, contrary to the time-based strategy used in traditional maintenance, which assumes that older equipment needs priority repair.
  • Supply Chain Optimization – In industrial settings, keeping track of assets is very important because it influences total productivity. Inventory tracking as it passes through the supply chain is made significantly easier with sensors and RFID tags. IIoT monitors inventory and location of all assets in the supply chain. Organizations have visibility and can quickly make supply chain decisions thanks to real-time data on material availability.

What is a Good Timeline for an IoT Implementation?

It is advisable to focus on proofs of concept (PoCs), sandboxes, human resource alignment, pilot programs, and narrowing use cases for IoT deployments even if your business expectations for IoT projects are high and you have the economic means to hire the necessary technical tools and resources. By accomplishing this, businesses will be able to learn from their mistakes in a smaller controlled setting. Once a pilot program or sandbox is complete, you can launch a full scale IoT implementation more quickly.

Steps of IoT Implementation

  1. Identify and setup your objectives
  2. Research IoT use cases for your business
  3. Create prototype
  4. Implement
  5. Connect, adapt, and integrate with other advanced systems
  6. Analyze and implement necessary security measures

Who Uses IoT Devices?

Woman reviewing real-time analytics of her manufacturing operations thanks to IoT data.

Industries adopting IoT devices and technologies for technical improvement are known as IoT users. This technology is expanding year after year in terms of its applications and new capabilities. Most businesses use this technology to optimize processes. IoT is used in several industries.

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Agriculture
  3. Healthcare
  4. Insurance
  5. Home automation
  6. Automotive
  7. Transportation
  8. Energy & Utilities

Why is IoT Important?

In recent years, IoT has emerged as one of the most significant 21st-century technologies. Continuous communication between people, processes, and things is now possible thanks to the ability to connect commonplace items—such as household appliances, automobiles, thermostats, and machines—to the internet via embedded devices.

Low-cost computers, the cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile technologies enable the sharing and collection of data by physical objects with minimal human intervention. Digital systems can record, monitor, and modify every interaction between connected entities in today’s hyper-connected environment.

How to Build IoT Projects

There is no one universal method for developing and installing an IoT infrastructure. But there is a common set of factors that can assist firms in successfully designing, developing, and deploying an IoT project.

Why Will IoT be Successful in the Coming Years?

IoT technology and its applications are still in their development and have significant room for expansion thus the future of IoT can be difficult to predict. But there are some fundamental predictions that can be made.

There will be a drastic increase in IoT devices. A combination of technologies, including 5G connectivity, and countless new business use cases emerging across key industries will drive the addition of billions of IoT devices to the internet over the next few years.

The share of Machine-To-Machine (M2M) connections will grow from 33 percent in 2018 to 50 percent by 2023. There will be 14.7 billion IoT connections by 2023 .


In addition, some aspects of AI and IoT are coming together to create a hybrid technology known as AIoT that combines IoT’s data-gathering skills with AI’s computation and decision-making abilities. A platform with increased learning capabilities and more human-machine interaction potential can be made possible by AIoT.

Finally, as IoT data volumes increase, organizations will have more options to increase revenue. Initiatives in Machine Learning and AI will be driven by this data across a variety of sectors, including research, transportation, finance, and retail.


IoT has advantages for a wide range of businesses, but it can be difficult to embrace and apply because it is still a developing technology. Your IoT journey can be simplified by selecting an experienced IoT partner and a reliable, trustworthy platform like Software AG’s Cumulocity. This will also help organizations become more innovative for the future.

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