The post Covid IoT scenario promises to be very interesting indeed. Businesses in every sector are now obliged to deal with the ‘new normal’ caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. In order to be successful, they will need to offer clients a new approach, developing smart products, capable of evolving independently to meet their needs.
The future of the Internet of Things therefore, lies in the design of increasingly sophisticated smart products: objects which, as well as carrying out their intended function, concurrently gather essential data and send it to their manufacturer.
Digital: key point of reference for the new normal
Following the end of lockdown, nearly every business model has started to invest in digital technology. The reasons for this lie in the first-hand experience gained by many businesses while smart working and observing social distancing regulations, leading to drastic changes in inter-personal communication.
Digital has become the new point of reference (in both social and professional spheres), imposing on the post Covid IoT an almost forced evolution. This has led to the need to create more modern business models focusing specifically on this kind of approach.
A good example of this sudden change of direction is reflected by how companies tend to interact with each other now. Many prefer to buy the products they need online, rather than wait for information from suppliers’ sales departments.
This behavioural trend suggests that there is a need to change the sales strategies used up to now and offer new models of service which are more dynamic and responsive.
Intelligent products in the post Covid IoT
In order to counteract investors’ fears (e.g. risks to company continuity, business model vulnerability and static sales models), it is plausible that this evolution will lead to touch points between clients and companies. These contact points, based on digital interaction, will rely on smart products to meet clients’ needs with increasing efficiency.
The devices involved in this change will be those designed to carry out repetitive tasks. Sophisticated integrated sensors (designed to collect data regarding the working environment, client preferences, etc.) will make it possible to build behavioural models, in order to supply highly accurate, customised services.
Machine learning processes will form a fundamental part of this scenario. Via big data analysis and a constant network connection, it is in fact possible for intelligent products to evolve autonomously. A survey conducted by Università Bocconi shows that this facility is one of the most frequently requested by companies.
The crucial role of security in the new IoT
In the post Covid IoT, security is a primary consideration, requiring special attention. With smart devices constantly connected, vulnerability to cyber-attacks increases markedly. Developing systems able to protect company data (especially of a confidential nature) therefore becomes a top priority.
In order to obtain satisfactory results, these measures need to be envisaged during the design phase of smart products. The reliability of the architecture and data privacy are priorities which developers must attend to with great care.
There are some efficient and versatile solutions currently being used in the creation of intelligent products, such as design thinking and the Agile method. The new frontier of the IoT promises many customised solutions, which will encourage businesses to experiment with new ways of doing business.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith