In the present interconnected landscape, where nearly every individual possesses two connected devices, the widespread influence of the Internet of Things (IoT) is unmistakable. However, the mere connection of devices does not guarantee the transformative impact that many anticipate. It parallels the availability of electricity without harnessing its potential efficiently.
Reflecting on the 19th century, when electricity coexisted without revolutionizing industries, a similar situation seems to exist in the application of IoT devices today. While the technology is prevalent, connectivity is often an afterthought, added on rather than ingrained from the start, falling short of delivering meaningful disruption.
“Connected by design” represents a paradigm shift, involving the embedding of connectivity into a device’s fundamental design. This way of doing things sees connection as a crucial helper, not just an extra. It is like when we went from CDs with encyclopedias to making Wikipedia together, making cool new things possible.
Consider the essential components of the IoT stack: sensors that act as a bridge between the physical and digital world, operating systems (OS) where a “connected by design” approach enhances energy efficiency, compute and storage that gains prominence with edge computing, application logic tailored to specific environments, and security and management integral to every layer of the IoT stack.
Connectivity, in the context of IoT, extends beyond mere data transmission between devices and the cloud. It is about making sure stuff works together on different networks, not just in the cloud. This makes things grow fast, keeps data reliable and quick, and makes everything safer.
A recent study indicated that only 1% of respondents achieved connectivity levels exceeding 98% across their device estate, highlighting a reliance on cheap and short-term connectivity solutions. Designing devices with connectivity in mind from the outset is akin to swapping a steam engine for an electric motor and expecting immediate production improvements – connectivity should be a strategic investment.
Connectivity is more than a layer. It is the central pillar of IoT. Companies embracing a connected-by-design philosophy gain a considerable competitive advantage, aligning their processes with the core principle that connectivity must be integrated from day one, when the problem being solved is first considered.