The benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) to businesses today

A photo of Till Heydel, VP, Strategy and Development

A Q&A with Till Heydel, our VP, Strategy and Development, and program sponsor for HSB Canada’s Applied Technology Solutions team.

This team has recently launched Sensor Solutions by HSBTM in Canada, and we are very excited about the work they are doing. 

Here are some questions we asked Till. 

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things, or IoT, refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are connected, either currently or in the future, to the internet, all collecting and sharing data.

Thanks to the arrival of inexpensive computer chips and the ubiquity of wireless networks, it is possible to turn anything, from the size of a pill to as large as an airplane, into part of the Internet of Things. Pretty much any physical object or incident can be transformed into an IoT component with the help of sensors if it can be connected to the internet to be controlled or communicate information. 

Connected globe with IoT

How can IoT help a business? 

The Internet of Things is progressing rapidly, which is why businesses should proactively prepare for the future. Here are a few examples of how IoT is helping businesses:
 

  • Automation of industrial operations
  • More accurate detection of common hazards and potential loss situations
  • Inventory management
  • Lowering energy costs and carbon footprint
  • Enabling remote working
  • Boosting productivity significantly by avoiding interruptions 
Industrial technology IoT engineer concept

What if people say, “I don’t want to add extra cost to my business”? 

The traditional insurance business model is to compensate clients for “repair or replacement” of insured property in exchange for a policy premium.

With the help of IoT, we can move away from “repair or replace” into a new paradigm of “connect and protect” by identifying incidents early or, even better, avoiding them completely.

The best type of loss for all parties is no loss at all. 

Engineer using tablet in a factory

What would you say to owners who say they want to wait until IoT becomes more established? 

The Internet of Things has already become established.

For example, it is now standard for motor vehicles to be connected to the Internet of Things and we’ve seen many benefits such as reduced accidents, vehicle damage, and injuries. Some motor vehicle companies are envisioning a world with zero motor vehicle accident fatalities.1

Everything has evolved very quickly and sensors have become more reliable, accurate, and sophisticated. The IoT industry is already growing faster than expected. By the end of 2020, there were 20 billion connected IoT devices, and by 2023 we’ll be close to 30 billion.3

Cars on the highway connected with IoT sensors

Can you tell us about the most important features of the sensors? 

Our sensors are cutting-edge, from the extra long-lasting battery to the expertly-built hardware inside. The most important feature would have to be the network our sensors work on. It’s called LoRaWAN which stands for low power, long-range wireless area network. It enables us to connect sensors even in concrete buildings and allows them to stay active for years without needing new batteries.

Where do you see IoT in the future? 

IoT devices currently account for half of all connected to the internet.2 Cities everywhere are becoming ‘smart’. Cars will get even smarter. Artificial intelligence will become more prevalent. On the negative side, cybercriminals will continue to use IoT devices to facilitate Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. IoT-based DDoS attacks will likely take on more dangerous forms. Hopefully, routers and public networks will continue to become smarter and more secure. 5G networks will significantly fuel IoT growth, but 5G’s arrival will also open the door to new privacy and security concerns. 
1Sullivan, Jack. “How IoT Is Already Making Roads Safer.”, Medium, 29 Mar. 2019, medium.com/@116363913/how-iot-is-already-making-roads-safer-b2cb197415e4. 2“Cisco Annual Internet Report - Cisco Annual Internet Report (2018–2023) White Paper.”Cisco,, www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/executive-perspectives/annual-internet-report/white-paper-c11-741490.html.
3“State of the IoT 2020: 12 Billion IoT Connections, Surpassing Non-IoT for the First Time.” IoT Analytics, 19 Nov. 2020, iot-analytics.com/state-of-the-iot-2020-12-billion-iot-connections-surpassing-non-iot-for-the-first-time/


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Posted on March 24, 2021