Where Things Stand with IoT and Technology Developments in 2021

December 20

A Notable Shift in Technological Capabilities

2020 and 2021 saw an explosion of decentralized technology, a chief component being the Internet of Things, or IoT. Today’s remote workers often utilize at least one mobile device connected to the web. Meanwhile, 45% of full-time employees are working fully or part-time in a remote capacity as of September of 2021.

Think about this: in 2020, there were 35 billion connected devices. In 2021, there were 46 billion. In three years, the expectation is that number will hit 83 billion. There is a shift in the tech world right now, and it is titanic.

Edge computing, an increase in cybersecurity breakthroughs in IoT as used in manufacturing, HR, and agriculture, smart cities, and big data enhancements have all come to define 2021. Future advances will be rooted in today’s trending tech. Businesses looking to keep pace need to know which solutions will best fit their needs. Here, several of these tech trends will be explored a bit more closely.

A New Techno-Industrial Revolution

One area of the economy that is poised to be totally transformed by today’s tech advances is traditional industry. Manufacturing, agriculture, and retail are expected to command some 70% of IoT tech applications by 2024.

Businesses in the industrial sector need to pay attention to such advances as a means of facilitating competitive viability, and cutting operational costs. Vendors and other businesses interfacing with such areas of industry should likewise take note.

Connectivity, Predictive Maintenance, Security, and Analytics

There is an increased need for connectivity in a world where IoT is coming to dominate productive tech. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, infrared, satellite linkup, etc.–IoT needs to have options in all these areas to be viable in its own right.

Meanwhile, IoT is a fine option for maximizing hardware utility. Web-connected devices can be programmed to monitor modern heavy equipment functionality, alerting operators when maintenance is necessary or there’s an error in normal operations. Breakdowns can be anticipated and avoided, maximizing the lifespan of all kinds of industrial equipment.

Security is enhanced through IoT in a variety of ways. From home security systems you can periodically check with your smartphone wherever you happen to be, to industrial-level facilities which require big data interfaces to process all the operational data, security can be increased by IoT. Continuing developments in terms of both software and hardware are driving the industry, including automated drones and IoT cameras, which are getting smaller than ever.

Analytics are a key feature of IoT. Devices monitoring manufacturing machines can collect data from multiple locations and machines, helping managers design production models from that data which are more streamlined and efficient. Supply chains can be optimized, as can energy usage and security.

IoT Development Based on Data, Better Workforce Management, Blockchain

Just as industrial hardware benefits from IoT data, so do IoT devices themselves. Their own functionality and utility can be continuously optimized using the same data. It’s a sort of synthetic neural network that’s ever-expanding. The more IoT is used, the more data there is; and so the process fuels itself to a certain extent.

Beyond tech enhancement, you can manage workforces on-site and remotely with more efficiency using modern tech advances. IoT and cloud computing have made remote workers a business model feature that tends to be lucrative for many companies. The workers themselves are enthusiastic about this sort of infrastructure as well. They get to have more control over their schedules, they’re more productive, and businesses spend less money on things like office space, desks, physical equipment, or custodial staff.

IoT is also driving blockchain tech owing to security. DDoS attacks can’t pierce blockchain, meaning IoT data stored on a blockchain is desirable for better security overall. As IoT grows, so will the need for reliable and scalable security solutions.

Data Processing Advances, Edge Computing, and Expanded Demand

Cloud computing is a network of servers arrayed together like pixels on a computer screen. Together, each acts as a sort of data engine, and their processing “horsepower” exponentially expands. Well, IoT devices also process a certain amount of data, and when you connect them together, you can initiate an “edge computing” network.

This technology would allow, for example, an industrial campus with a few hundred IoT devices to effectively have its own localized cloud network. Of course, that’s not a 1:1 comparison; “the edge” can’t replace cloud options. But in a nutshell, edge computing can do much to curb latency, initiate more effective operations, and is a greener means to compute data–you can read more here.

Altogether, you can expect demand to expand exponentially, similar to the availability of computational storage. Multiple edge networks, cloud networks, and IoT conveniences will lead to an increased appetite throughout the public for such tech solutions. It’s like a chemical reaction, and processing capacity was the spark added in 2020 and 2021, resulting in a significant increase in IoT adoption.

A Decentralized, Increasingly Swift Digital Future

The world is presently experiencing a sort of takeover in terms of IoT-related innovations. Remember when computer monitors used to be vacuum-tubed monstrosities? Remember how quickly flat screen tech replaced them? When is the last time you remember seeing an old vacuum-tubed computer monitor or television set? That’s what we’re looking at with IoT tech right now. (For some more background into the topics explored here, you can follow this link.)

The truth is, the industry is being totally reinvented, and the world is slowly adjusting to match such swift changes. The next technological “iteration” is here. IoT is exceptionally innovative, cost-effective, and useful. Very soon, it will be fundamental for just about any business.

It’s recommendable to work with companies already on the cutting edge. At minimum, you want to find consultants from such technology professionals that you can trust concerning these shifts in IT utility, to keep up with the latest in tech. IoT is here, and it’s here to stay.

Johannes Beekman

About the author

Our CEO has more than 25 years of experience in manufacturing in the high-tech industry. Johannes has worked for 25 years in the semiconductor industry, where he worked for Philips, Infineon, and Sematech in various management positions in process development, engineering, operations, and sales and marketing. While working for Philips, he was an engineering manager in 2 wafer fab startups. And while at Sematech, he managed various international technical symposia. He has built 3 successful digital marketing companies in the past 8 years. His focus is marketing integration, marketing technology, SEO, and inbound and outbound marketing. And he has developed a content creation system that uses the AIDA model to develop content for every stage of the sales funnel. Johannes has experience working with companies in manufacturing, the high-tech industry, process industry, IT, healthcare, and legal industry, and he has published on several trade-focused websites.


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