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SWOT Analysis of the Internet of Things

Analyzing the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats of the Internet of Things

The next big thing in the technology era, the Internet of Things has arrived and how! It brings along an array of connected devices that promise to make our lives easier and better.

It is a brand new wave of technology that has been touted as an epoch-making change by many. No wonder some of us are enthusiastic while some of us are a little anxious when it comes to the prospect of investing in IoT. So, to make decisions simple for both, the excited and the apprehensive lot, here is a comprehensive and unbiased SWOT analysis of the Internet of Things.


SWOT Analysis of IoT


  • The Internet of Things can be modelled to reduce costs: A very basic example of connected devices is their use at a factory floor where the production units are connected to the delivery and sales units. If a particular product of a brand is not faring well in the market, the sales counter machine can alert the production units to decrease or abruptly halt the production if need be. This way, devices which are connected can communicate to reduce costs significantly.
  • Environment Friendly: Connected devices can be modelled to bring down carbon emissions and hence help protect the environment. Smart cars, smart lights and smart homes limit energy usage and consequently, reduce emissions. A recent report by the Carbon War Room predicts that the Internet of Things can alleviate emissions by 19%. IoT and the M2M industry can increase its value to $1 trillion in the next few years.(Source )
  • Innovation: Innovation has successfully steered the technology industry towards the present pinnacle. The era of connecting devices to realize a smart ecosystem enables untold possibilities (read opportunities!). Situations like these sprout innovation and paradigm-shifting ideas. IoT is still in stages of infancy, but it is safe to say that great things can be expected from it in the near future.
  • Public Interest and Hype: In 2012, IoT debuted on the Garner Hype Cycle. In 2014, it overtook Big. This was the result of all the buzz generated by IoT and the attention it seized from consumers and vendors alike. Giants like Apple, Microsoft and Google are already in the race to make intelligent devices available to consumers. This ever increasing media hype and recurring headlines about IoT is just what the doctor ordered! IoT is being welcomed heartily and its acceptance in the future is bound to rise.
  • Ease of Use: Let’s not deny that all of us want to be glorified couch potatoes and control the devices around us with a single commence from a single place. The Internet of Things will be able to connect devices with each other enabling them to communicate. This reduces our work and improves the overall standard of living. So, we can hope to say goodbye to multiple remotes and switches soon.


  • Security: The most talked about drawback of connecting devices is their security and how it can be compromised by a small group of hackers. Recent activities of hackers trying to gain control over smart fridges is not doing any good to the reputation of IoT. However, there are attempts being made to revitalise security of such devices and to establish a common standard for the same.
  • Data Challenges: Every year, we produce data in exobytes. This data needs to be stored and analyzed for obtaining information about certain parameters. When all devices are connected, the amount of data collected will increase manyfold. Collection, analysis and storage of all that data is an arduous task and we need better infrastructure to manage the avalanche of data headed our way.
  • Massive Investments: Companies wishing to become early movers in the IoT market have to invest a lot of money to make connected devices. Apart from the production costs, there is a huge cost attached to the Research and Development of the products as well. This high cost might intimidate new market entrants. Companies need to stay poised to reap the benefits of such investments over time.
  • No Road Map: IoT is still in an infant stage. There is no clear road map, implying that there is no definite direction in which the development is moving. In such a scenario, the technology moves forward with innovation as and when it happens. As potential customers, we might find 10 variants for 1 gadget or maybe none for another. This sort of need-driven development will continue until the dust settles and certain standards are established for development of the internet of things.


  • Healthcare Applications: Paradigm-shifting to the field of personal healthcare is the agenda that is leading the revolution of connected devices. There are several opportunities for developers to innovate and make solutions to make our lives easier. Recent development of the Health Kit and Research Kit by Apple is just a step forward in the direction of improving healthcare. With so many ideas perking up every now and then and the state of current technology, anything is possible. As potential customers, this is a win-win situation for us.
  • Wearables: Smart watch, smart glass and smart clothes, all of them carry the ‘smart’ tag with them. Today, watches are able to record our daily activity, our workout routine and much more. Smart glasses are coming up to make everything around us interactive or into holograms. All this is leading us towards a time where everything we wear and hold can think for its own.
  • Infrastructure Management: The infrastructure management sector is another field that can make the most of IoT. Wearable devices like Google Glass and smart watches have already been deployed by off-shore drilling companies and construction companies. Microsoft’s Holo Lens promises to play a crucial role in the field of infrastructure.
  • Making computers more ubiquitous: Moore’s Law states that the size of computing microprocessors goes down by half every 18 months. This just goes to prove that developers are aiming to integrate computers in our lives in a very fine, intricate way such that we don’t feel them as separate entities. The recent flood of smart wearables aims to realize the dream to make computing completely ubiquitous among us.
  • Exciting investment opportunities: IoT brings with it an array of potential investment opportunities. I remember reading a piece by Dave Kelly that talked about how people who realized the potential of the smartphone and got on the smartphone bandwagon before the iPhone came out are now smiling their way to the bank. IoT has a huge upside potential for people looking to invest in chip making companies, solution making companies and more. It’s all uphill from here.


  • Vulnerability to hackers: When we think about hackers, we imagine really intelligent individuals working tirelessly on their Alienwares to bring down a website. Now, with connected devices in the picture, these hackers will be able to control your smart bulbs, garage, watches and even clothes! This open invitation to hackers to try to control every device around is a serious threat for IoT and it stands in the way of users shifting to connected devices.
  • Not Meeting People’s Expectations: A classic example to bring home this point can be the console game, Watchdogs. The game was previewed at a conference when it was in its early stages of development. People pinned hopes high expecting an open-world hacking game. But, what was delivered did not live up to the expectations, making it an average product after all. IoT here has reached the peak of it hype. People have realistic and over-the-top hopes from IoT. These exaggerated expectations are a threat to IoT if the products fail to live up to the user expectations.
  • Lack of demand due to high cost: Let’s face it, smart watches, glasses or even bulbs are not cheap. A pack of 3 smart bulbs is almost three times the cost of regular ones. It is great for us that companies are developing connected devices, but they will be of no use if the intended target audience is not able to afford them. Large selling prices is a very big threat looming over IoT and its growth.

I think it is only fair to say that IoT has its fair share of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Not all things about it are all good or all bad. But, we have to understand that the wave of connected devices is coming and we should be knowing about it as much as possible.

I hope the SWOT analysis done by me was up to the mark. If I have missed out any point, or if you have some feedback, drop me a comment below. If you liked the article, do share it on your social networks. Do check out our other articles that talk about the myths, obstacles and interesting facts about the Internet of Things.

8 Myths about the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is here to stay. Like any new concept, IoT brings with itself an array of misconceptions and myths. These myths will decide our viewpoint and our stand with respect to all things connected. We’ve put together a list of common misconceptions and tried to debunk them the best way we can.

1. IoT is just another piece of hardware
If IoT were a piece of hardware, new products would be shoved down our throats every 6 months. Thankfully, it’s not. IoT is a complete infrastructure comprising the software, network, physical sensors and the cloud.
Generally, a connected device observes our actions using sensors, transforms it into data, and transmits it over the network to the cloud platform where the data is analyzed. The decision made on the basis of this analyzed data triggers an action from the device in the real world.

2. The Internet of Things is a thing of the future
It was LG in 2000 to first come up with plans for a refrigerator connected to the internet aka implementing the internet of things in real life. So, the first time IoT was implemented,

  •  Microsoft released Windows 2000
  •  The entire world was divided on the Bush v/s Gore vote
  • Book stores were packed with the release of the 4th Harry Potter book.
  •  Napster came under the scanner for the first time.
    So, it’s been around for a while. Internet of Things has always been a vision to increase M2M interaction, but it needed investment in terms of men, money and materials to develop. Now, that it has started getting attention, we’ll see strides in this field. So, IoT is a thing of the present than the future.

3. My life will become Big Brother with the gag reel!
Privacy (Yes, I finally have your attention) has been an issue of tremendous economic, technical and moral importance. IoT skeptics are painting the town red talking about the privacy issues of connected devices with messages like: “Stop Now. You’ll repent later”. Kind of reminds you of those believers who ran amok crying “2012: Repent while there’s still time”.
For market movers hoping to make an impact with their design of IoT, privacy is a major concern. Current privacy infrastructure standards like VPN, DNS extensions can be used over the cloud. There are efforts to conform upon a standard to keep user data private. Today, organizations trust vendors with their enterprise data over the cloud. Organizations are aware of people’s concerns and are making a conscious effort to address them in the best way possible. So, if privacy is what’s holding you back, welcome to Team IoT.

4. You had me at security!
You imagine a future where every tiny detail about you, your activities is being recorded, analyzed and acted upon by several sensors. In such a scenario, security is of utmost importance.
Companies who plan to enter the market of connected devices will make security of user data a priority. With Google announcing Brillo, Apple & Microsoft working on custom operating systems for their wearables and their protection, security should be the least of your worries.

5. Industrial IoT is the same as consumer IoT
Industrial IoT refers to the deployment of connected devices designed specifically to automate an industry or a particular process of the same. Industrial IoT differs from consumer IoT in all facets like the level of security, privacy, integration with legacy software, response to failure, etc.
Consumer IoT is probably the simplest form of IoT as the possibilities for it are endless. Industrial IoT on the other hand is a lot more complex and needs careful planning and implementation. If your smart fridge fails to deliver as expected, the issue can be resolved in the next update. But, if a component in an industry fails to perform, the implications could be disastrous.

6. Interoperability is simply impossible to achieve
One concept will put to rest all doubts about interoperability: Open Source. You wouldn’t want to purchase a smart thermostat only to find it incompatible with your smartphone. After all, ease of use is the bottom line for IoT.
Vendors like ARM plan to make their IoT standards public. Open Source designs and software will enable different vendors to make products interoperable. Several Open Source summits are being organized. Recently, giants like Apple, Microsoft joined Facebook’s Open Source project to provide designs for their data center.

7. The Data will be impossible to handle
The upcoming wave of IoT products plans to bring along an avalanche of data with it. Some argue that the process of data storage, management and analysis will be an uphill task, maybe even impossible.
But, experts say that not all data needs to be sent over to the device or cloud to be analyzed. A smart device like a thermostat will take an action to reduce or increase the temperature only when the present conditions change. Hence, the garbage data can be eliminated, sending only the data related to a state change. Implementation of such logic can reduce the cost of data management. (Source)

8. IoT is feasible only for the market giants and not startups
Many startups get disheartened by the costs of investing in the Internet of Things. But, in reality the cost of developing an IoT solution is lesser that you think.
The declining hardware costs and Open Source standards that implement interoperability are key drivers in reducing the cost of IoT development. So, in the world of IoT a startup and a Fortune 500 company are at even footing.

I hope I have been able to bust some myths about the Internet of Things through the article. If I have missed out any point or if you have any feedback, drop me a comment below.

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