Research Outline

Internet of Things Research


To understand the actual uses of the Internet of Things or Industry 4.0, as it directly relates to business problems within industry segments, which should focus on networking hardware (5G, WAN, routers, and software). An ideal response would include whether the big promise of the IoT revolution from ten years ago ever really materialized, how companies are approaching their new strategy to IoT connected business transformation, whether they are more cautious or forging ahead. Additionally, to understand how companies are deciding which parts of their business to transform, and whether companies today are even using terms like IoT.

Early Findings

  • According to Insights for Professionals, the Internet of Things is still ubiquitous, even after 21 years. The term was first used back in 1999, and it referred to a Coke machine. It is still being touted as not only one of the biggest trends predicted for the next few years, it is still promising a "revolution in everything from how we use energy to how we buy milk."
  • Security is still one of the largest issues when it comes to the Internet of Things. Many IoT devices are easily hacked into. In fact, IoT devices are potential entry points for a cyberattack. In the 2016 Mirai botnet attack, hackers specifically targeted IoT devices, including appliances and routers, and disrupted many major Internet service providers.
  • Symantec reported that in 2018 75% of IoT attacks targeted routers.
  • According to McKinsey, most businesses are adopting the IoT only to a limited extent. Most leaders reported that their enterprise deployments were still at proof-of-concept stage, and none have yet embarked on large-scale programs. For example, telecoms, tech, and media companies report that they have data readiness and proof of concept, but they have no full deployment.
  • 5G, or the fifth generation of mobile technology , and the internet of things (IoT) are two macro technology shifts rapidly moving from aspirational visions to real-world applications. By providing download speeds up to 2.7 times faster than 4G, 5G can send data to and from as many as a million devices per square kilometer, compared to 100,000 devices per square kilometer using current 4G networks.
  • While these applications might not be seen in the short term, the infrastructure for them is being deployed and will continue to roll out over the next several years. The number of IoT devices is projected to grow from seven billion in 2018 to 22 billion by 2025.
  • December 2019 saw the Zigbee Alliance launch the “Project Connected Home over IP” (CHIP) with the ambitious goal of enabling plug-and-play consumer IoT devices. Led by Amazon, Apple and Google, Project CHIP aims to deliver specs and open source code later this year."
  • Businesses are looking into strategic value of implementing IoT to solve complex problems. "They are working with technology vendors, network providers and hardware manufacturers to ensure that the IoT devices and systems work together to realize the full value of the IoT applications. This includes not only optimizing business processes but also using predictive data analytics for business benefits."
  • According to McKinsey, "The connectivity layer of the IoT technology stack is most tightly bound to mobile-network operators that offer standard cellular connectivity. A few well-financed start-ups have targeted this layer of the stack and have made progress in sub segments such as low-power wide-area connectivity. Connectivity technology occupies a still-growing market that’s strongly influenced by international standardization in this technology layer."
  • The city of Caldas da Rainha in Portugal and Actility is a use case showing how using Cisco IoT solutions such as gateways for LoRaWAN improve water management, waste collection, and parking.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our initial hour of research was spent scanning to ensure there was publicly available data surrounding the ask, as well as providing some relevant findings for as much of the ask as possible.
  • A geographic focus was not provided to us, so we assumed a global view. If a more targeted approach is desired, for example, the United States, this would have to be clearly communicated to us in any reply.
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.