Nowadays, gathering data and exploiting it is a hot topic. Data should be driving decisions and digital transformation. But, how can organisations tap into the increasing expanse of data available in the internet economy? The IoT, big data and artificial intelligence are just three ‘solutions’ that can aid businesses in gathering, accessing and exploring this increasingly critical resource.
Blockchain — the online transactional ledger — is a relatively new, but, the technology has serious potential in this great data game; particularly regarding security.
Integrating IoT with blockchain
Integrating IoT with blockchain is practical, it can and should be done — depending on the circumstances.
There are billions of internet-connected devices in the world, and more and more are coming. It is estimated that by 2022, there will be over 50 billion IoT devices in operation — the problem isn’t the amount of data being generated. Space to store data is not a problem. What is scarce, however, is trust and security.
What’s the problem you’re trying to solve?
IoT and blockchain: sounds like an answer to your prayers. But, don’t be fooled by it seemingly awesome technological development. Beware of false prophets. As with anything, first identify the business problem you’re trying to solve and then select a technology solution to solve it — not the other way round.
So, where can these two technologies solve the most pervasive business problems? Answer: in asset intensive industries. Whether it’s a physical industry such as transport, or a digital industry, like music or media entertainment content, integrating IoT and blockchain adds improved security and trust. It also enables the replication of data — the process of storing data in more than one site or node, which is useful in improving the availability of data. With regulations like the GDPR, as well, the blockchain can help organisations maintain control of their data.
In asset management, combining these two technologies improves the possibility of edge processing — a growing trend where organisations are running analytics at the coalface or on the train tracks — at the edge. This secured insight is then transferred back to the organisation, where it can be used to drive value.
Also see: Back to Basics with Cloud Security
Trust and security
No technology will be able to guarantee complete protection. But, by securing data on the decentralised system, the use of blockchain does reduce the risk considerably.
The economy of things
The impact of blockchain will not be transformational unless it’s integrated with other technologies, like the IoT — it’s better to be part of a team. In this network made up of billions of players, blockchain can work seamlessly to create the Economy of Things:
1. Build connected instruments/devices
2. Create sensor networks
3. Collect the data
4. Optimise the assets
5. Finally, progress to the monetisation of these assets
The blockchain pulls this economy together, in a secure, trustworthy and a traceable way.