Why Give an Iota about IoT

Are you missing out on this multi-trillion-dollar opportunity? That’s trillion with a “T” and this flourishing industry is about to explode even further. If you’re unfamiliar, IoT stands for “Internet of Things” and in simple terms, this means technology uses sensor and software technology enabling things to become “smart”. Through this, data is collected and sent to a software platform or orchestrator. The data can consist of the environment and changes to it like location, temperature, quantities, consumption, and much more. Capturing this data can drastically revolutionize the consumer and business experience.

There are many industries that use IoT: healthcare, retail, supply chain and logistics, industrial, automotive, housing, energy and utilities, and smart cities. I’m going to talk through four very different examples to represent a few of the almost endless possibilities. My hope is that these examples help you think about other possible ideas where IoT can be useful, if not essential, to how your customers will operate their business in the future.


Use Cases for IoT

Example #1 – Logistics

Refrigerated trucks need to keep a constant temperature and/or humidity to preserve the goods that they carry. If conditions fall outside of the designated range, the goods could be damaged or spoiled. IoT facilitates a constant flow of information from that truck, providing definitive proof that the temperature and humidity stayed at a consistent, acceptable range. A real-world, timely example of this is the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines, requiring temperature conditions. Changes in the ambient storage parameters results in large volumes of medications being unusable.


Example # 2 – Transportation

A smart streetlight senses a funeral motorcade or emergency vehicle and holds the traffic light on green to allow for safe passage. Streetlights also conserve energy by turning on or becoming brighter when people are walking nearby and turning off or dimming when nobody is around. The smart streetlights feed information like real-time traffic updates to government agencies or commuters.


Example #3 – Agriculture

Soil is monitored by IoT technology to communicate conditions, such as being too dry, chemically unbalanced, needing pruning, ready to harvest, etc. This helps to ensure that trees and crops are properly farmed and harvested.  


Example # 4 – Automotive

Autonomous/self-driving cars are set to become more common with retail consumers in the next year and will generate a great deal of data using IoT. Everything will be monitored from starting point to destination, including traffic objects encountered, speed, the music played, weather outside, etc. throughout the journey. All of this data is necessary to ensure safety. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are at the core of making these vehicles function, working with IoT.


What’s the Future of IoT?

IoT will impact our everyday lives. Some changes we see coming and some have yet to be explored. For example, once autonomous vehicles become more common, owners will be able to “rent” these cars for an Uber-like service, picking up riders and driving them to their destination without the car owners themselves, maybe even while they’re at work for double income. Not only would this be a great source of supplemental income for the vehicle owner, but an excellent source of data as the car generates reports on consumer habits, road conditions, etc. This may sound far off or “otherworldly”, but these examples already exist, and the time is ripe for getting into this business.


IoT is a vastly untapped market with enormous potential. With a simple IoT sensor and wireless connectivity, devices can now produce data that they once couldn’t. With the great strides made in the 5G space in 2020, IoT now has more bandwidth to push all this data being generated across all these devices. Aside from the direct benefits to the consumer, the data being generated is hugely sought after with many companies more than happy to pay for it.


Ultimately, IoT needs an avenue to get to businesses: YOU! Someone needs to sell the connectivity, the sensors, the supporting software, necessary storage for the massive amount of data, computers and hardware to orchestrate and process actionable items, and the analytics and reporting to make sense of it all.  


IoT, like most emerging technologies, is not a commodity. There are industry standards that apply, with many providers having their own solutions that cannot necessarily be interchanged with other providers’ solutions. Therefore, every opportunity must be thoroughly assessed for the customer’s requirements and desired results. At TBI, the Tech Gurus are here to assist every step of the way with these opportunities. The best time to engage us is EARLY and often! Connect with and engage the Tech Gurus through TBI OnDemand.



Scott Ward has over 30 years of industry experience, with the last 12 as a Solution Engineer designing complex Cloud-based, managed hosting, and colocation solutions for both SMB and enterprise organizations. He has a deep technical background in many areas of IT including Cloud and Virtualization, Infrastructure, Backup, Disaster Recovery, Security, Storage, Virtual Desktops, Office 365 and SD-WAN. You can reach Scott at sward@tbicom.com or connect with him on LinkedIn.