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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.

6 Interesting Facts about the Internet of Things

7 Interesting Facts about the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things has been a buzzword for a while now. People can’t seem to get enough of it. The possibility of living (kinda) like the Jetsons in this lifetime has people excited, and a little scared too. We live in interesting times.
Here are some facts and forecasts that may surprise you.

1. The value of IoT
Intel reports that as of 2025, it is possible that the worldwide value of the technology of IoT will be a whopping $6.2 trillion, with $2.5 trillion of this accounted for by health care and a further $2.3 trillion in manufacturing industries.

2. More connected devices than humans
The Internet of Things is rapidly evolving. Cisco estimates that 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. What’s the estimated global population in 2020, you ask? Less than 8 billion!
Yet today, more than 99% of the things in the physical world remain unconnected. Bazinga!

3. There are 100 Internet addresses for every ATOM on the face of the earth!
We invented IPV6 because we knew we’d run out of IP addresses one day.
People lost their minds when Steve Leibson said in 2008, “We could assign an IPV6 address to every atom on the surface on the earth, and still have enough addresses left to do another 100+ earths. It isn’t remotely likely that we’ll run out of IPV6 addresses at any time in the future.” How cool is that?

4. Insecurities kill connections

It sounds cool to have smart gadgets but it also makes them more susceptible to getting hacked. Imagine a world in which your fridge refuses to make ice and your smoke alarm goes off randomly!
A year ago, a group of hackers used malware installed on over a hundred thousand devices to send out 750,000 virus-bearing spam emails. All this in less than a week! What raised eyebrows was that many of the devices in question weren’t computers or even smartphones. The victims were things that most people didn’t think were even capable of getting infected—televisions, home entertainment centers, and even a refrigerator!

5. Thrifty IoT
The report entitled “Machine-to-Machine Technologies: Unlocking the Potential of a $1 Trillion Industry” predicts that the technology could result in cost savings and new revenues worth 10-15 trillion USD over the next twenty years.

6. Save the environment? Check!
A new report by Carbon War Room and AT&T shows that IoT can save 2 billion tons of carbon emissions by 2020, while its applications in transportation and the operation of buildings and farms can slash greenhouse emissions by 7.1 billion tons.

The Internet of Things is already making waves. If these predictions come true, then the effect of IoT on the entire world will be enormous.

6 Interesting Facts about the Internet of Things

Why can’t you play God just yet?- 7 Challenges in implementing the Internet of Things

7 Challenges in implementing the Internet of Things

There’s no doubt that the Internet of Things is a groundbreaking evolution. Talking refrigerators, intelligent thermostats, health monitors environmental sensors, clever cars, brainy bridges and what not- it’s all quite fascinating. But how are companies going to follow through with the tall promises they’ve made to us? No matter how badly we want things at the flick of a wand, in reality, most IoT projects have severe feasibility issues. In a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, it was found that 96% of the companies surveyed faced challenges with their IoT projects. After all, building revolutionary stuff comes with a generous share of obstacles.

I’ve put together a bunch of reasons why companies are having a tough time.

1. Data management

Sensors all around collect data which is stored, analyzed and then inferences are made accordingly. That’s basically how IoT works. As time goes on and the number of sensors increases, mountains of data start accumulating. A lot of it could be unwanted data. The lack of space and dearth of adequate analytical tools start eating away at the efficiency and quality of the technology. In the study mentioned earlier, another key finding was that only 8% of the companies surveyed are fully capturing and analyzing data in a timely fashion. To deal with the exponential rise in data volume, companies will have to come up with novel ways to store it and analyze it to their benefit. This analyzed data is what ultimately results in revenue generation or cost savings for the organization.

Certain systems need to be in place to react to changes in real time. According to Capgemini, 60% of all British companies in a recent study felt they were not in a position to process sensor date in real time. The real-time processing of data in particular is frequently an unsatisfactorily resolved problem, as are the integration, analysis, and visualization of data

2. Upfront Investments

Innovativeness comes at a cost. Enormous capital investments will be needed to acquire the necessary technological prowess for applications that generate a lot of data. Gathering so much data will be in vain if the company doesn’t possess the capabilities to convert that data into valuable insights and make the right decisions. However, the hard part isn’t crunching the data; it’s connecting all the systems needed to paint a complete picture. Integration is tougher than analysis.

3. Not getting along

 At the heart of IoT lies connectivity. Everything must be connected in some way. But companies use different platforms and tools and getting legacy software to work with new technology is easier said than done. Accenture believes that the main challenge lies in getting current technology up to speed to accommodate the Internet of Things. Regardless of how much smarter and inexpensive the sensors are becoming, the lack of standards, suitable protocols for data transfer, compatible middleware and need for upgradation are big roadblocks in taking IoT to the next level.

4. Sensor energy

For IoT to reach its full potential, sensors will need to be self-sustaining. Imagine changing batteries in billions of devices deployed across the planet and even into space. Obviously, this isn’t possible. What’s needed is a way for sensors to generate electricity from environmental elements (such as vibrations, light, or airflow).

5. New skill set needed

There is a lack of Big Data experts who are able to interpret sensor data. Data scientists are rare and in great demand. The future of IoT is a grand vision indeed. Using cloud computing, Big Data analysis and blazing fast hardware, we might be able to make what we want. Brilliant minds making deeply complex stuff that needs mad skills, utmost dedication and a lot of time to build. What will you do when your fridge acts up and stops reminding you to buy milk? You’re going to need some highly qualified and knowledgeable tech support, no? There might come a time when one of the fifty devices strapped to your body malfunctions and nobody has a clue as to how to fix it. We are building things which might go beyond our understanding. It’s difficult for companies to find people with the required expertise to work on such advanced projects and then manage the customer support too. Customer queries are becoming increasingly complex and customers expect quick response times.

6. Security

Devices are increasingly getting connected to the internet and to each other. This makes them vulnerable to malicious attacks, no matter how unlikely it seems. The main cause for concern is not every individual thing in the internet of things (although those are hard to secure too), it’s those cloud servers that hold a ton of data collected from the connected devices. They could contain an array of personal information as well as an organization’s confidential information. Even local hubs where data is temporarily stored are hackable.

It is paramount that companies include security features as the top priority rather than as an addendum. Security breaches could result in widespread loss of privacy and tremendous damage- in terms of money, reputation and customer loyalty.

It was revealed in the 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis report that the average consolidated total cost of a data breach is 3.8million USD. That’s a 23% increase since 2013. If implementing security mechanisms right now itself is so difficult, imagine the state of affairs when IoT reaches another level.

Organizations driving the IoT revolution have to find a way to make devices secure. After all, with great power, comes great responsibility.

7. Finding a killer application

This is another hiccup in developing IoT apps. A killer app becomes popular because you need it. A smartphone is unarguably the best example of a killer product. Think about how easily smartphones have carved a special place in our lives. Organizations are having a tough time coming up with something that will have people lining up and camping outside stores to buy it. A few years ago, one could have said that wearable devices might perhaps remain toys for the wealthy. But with all sorts of new startups coming up and the cost of hardware constantly decreasing, these devices are now quite affordable. But nothing has really gone viral yet. It’s going to be quite a challenge.

It is important to note that while barriers and challenges exist, they are not insurmountable. Given the benefits of IoT, companies will find a way to get these issues worked out. It is only a matter of time.

7 Challenges in implementing 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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IoT Security: Is there an app for that?

Brandom Lewis talks about the need for security in a future consisting of connected devices. He gives examples for the need for security in the medical field. Brandom talks about Java being able to isolate the application and how Oracle has developed applications to improve edge to cloud data integration.

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