Friday, 20th September 2019

How the IoT could change the workplace

By Manfred Kube, Head of M2M Segment Marketing, Gemalto.

The IoT is changing the workplace in many ways, altering working patterns, driving new cultural trends and even creating new job roles. Whether it’s influencing business decisions, enhancing organisational efficiency, or creating more informed employees, the technology is undoubtedly a disruptive force. However, to achieve its full potential, we must get the security dimension right. The expansion in data unfortunately presents more opportunities for cyber-attackers.

More intelligent and fulfilled employees

While there are understandable concerns over the impact of technology on jobs, we think the future is positive. The IoT is going to create more intelligent employees, allowing them to access huge volumes of data to make more informed decisions. They will need help in this task from advanced machine learning and Artificial Intelligence techniques, which will help make sense of the data and discover patterns. Furthermore, the IoT going to make work more flexible, rendering the traditional office space increasingly obsolete.

The rise in IoT-enabled devices, such as smart glasses, wristbands and powerful tablets, will equip workers with the tools to perform better. Just imagine how much more successful an aircraft engineer would be wearing connected smart glasses, enabling information on the plane to be fed into their field of vision while they fix a problem. We are also seeing products such as industrial smart gloves emerge, which can speed up assembly line processes by enabling workers with hands-free scanning and documentation of goods. The same principles apply to corporate leaders; think about how much more productive a boardroom meeting might be if directors had a constant stream of real-time data flowing to them from around the business which can be used to the company’s advantage.

More efficient business processes

The expansion in data can bring benefits for organizations, allowing them to better understand customers and make more informed decisions. Take banks as an example. The proliferation of connected devices means that financial institutions have more information at their disposal, allowing them to conduct more rigorous market analyses.

With IoT and M2M technology, banks can access data from across customers’ value chain. M2M sensors are set to enhance underwriting processes, since banks can better track physical performance of individuals, the shipping of goods and manufacturing quality control.Better informed lending decisions are also possible, since powerful IoT sensors can monitor the condition of retail, agricultural and manufacturing businesses.

Making security a priority

While we’re optimistic about the future of work, there is a major obstacle – and that’s getting the cyber security right. The IoT is going to lead to an expansion in data, while the rise of mobile working is going to place more pressure on company networks to deliver cloud-based systems. Vulnerabilities could allow hackers to cripple organizations, potentially seizing control of organizational AI systems and wreaking havoc. We’ve covered real life examples of this on our blog before.

With cybercrime projected to cause losses of $2 trillion by 2019, companies need to develop strong identity management systems, as well as deploying tools like encryption and tokenization to combat cybercriminals. In addition, businesses running IoT projects will have to do more to ensure the identity of their connected machines and the sensors they are attached to, and the integrity of the data they are producing. After all, if a business will be using this data to make informed business decisions, they had better be sure the data is correct.

Clearly, the IoT is set to radically change the way we work, encouraging employees to make better use of data and pushing cyber security to the top of the agenda in the boardroom.

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