According to a survey by the GSMA at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, 48.2% of attendees agreed the Internet Things (IoT) is the biggest business opportunity of 2017. The popularity of IoT makes sense given Business Insider estimated there would be $4.8 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2016 and 2021. So while mobile was the headlining act at the MWC, IoT generated the most buzz among conference-goers, almost upstaging mobile. One of the main topics of conversation centered around how manufacturers can better act on the enormous amounts of data being collected by plant sensors. Big data analysis isn’t much use if manufacturers are unable to communicate it to their employees. On the other end, there must be high levels of employee adoption for effective action to be taken. Once insights gleaned from IoT can pass through the current bottleneck between data analysts and staff, we will see the real potential of industrial IoT. The other focus at MWC was how to handle various risk levels when it comes to IoT data security. The question of what data to collect and disclose to different company stakeholders is a thorny issue that has yet to be answered. Effective data security often comes into conflict with issues surrounding transparency and data ownership. The bottom line is manufacturers must air on the side of caution to prevent breaches or unintentional disclosures. Careless mistakes with data security could jeopardize crucial momentum for a burgeoning technology. Security questions aside, the excitement for the future of the Industrial IoT was palpable at the MWC. It was clear from discussions that manufacturers who can loosen the communication bottleneck between big data and employees were set to reap the rewards of IoT technology. Beekeeper can act as the bridge between high-level data insights and your staff on the plant floor with custom API integration and instant communication tools. Even more, Beekeeper is an industry leader in proprietary data security with its adherence to bank-level security standards. IoT’s future is brighter than ever and we are thrilled to see how manufacturers make use of it in 2017.
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