Gartner estimates that 20.4 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020. The consumer sector is linked to 63% of IoT applications inspite of increasing popularity of IoT solutions in companies. Consider smart electric meters, RFID chips to gauge traffic flow, street lights which adapt to the number of people on roads in a smart city. There are lighting, security and HVAC systems, elevators in every smart building of a smart city. Who is responsible if a smart city which is full of Internet-of-Things devices fail? A massive problem will arise when we try to integrate a complete city full of these devices. The question would then be as to what standards should be followed in order to accomplish such a Herculean task.
How lack of standardization is impacting IoT growth?
With the IoT market booming, many of the IoT solution providers have been building components from the stack. These include hardware devices and cloud services. Let’s view some points which hinder the adoption of IoT :
1) Those who deploy the IoT applications are asking for an agreeable setting of interoperable standards.
2) Naming and resolver is needed which provides much help in unique global identification of IoT devices. For a unique global identification there ought to be only one number or ID. There is no convergence of the reference models and reference networks which is a big issue.
3) One of the primary reasons why wireless communication technologies like RFID and GSM have garnered very wide acceptance is because they have open standards. This is also true for any kind of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication. Similarly RFID and M2M solutions to the IoT devices can’t reach such a global scale without globally acknowledged standards.
4) Internet and IOT along with integration of legacy systems and networks is a big challenge that is to be dealt with in the future.
These are the reasons why IoT adoption on a large scale has encountered a huge obstacle in its path. As there are multiple touch-points for hackers there are huge security risks also. These risks are further increased because of varying standards, varying connectivity methods and so on. Vendor lock-in, rivaling standards, proprietary devices and private networks make it that hard to incept a standard security protocol for devices. IoT hackers will be successful when there are varying standards, connectivity patterns and there will be increased security against them if IoT devices employ common standards.
As businesses advance, the requirement for a standard model to perform basic IoT backend assignments, for example, processing, stockpiling data, and firmware updates, is ending up more pertinent. In that new model, we are probably going to see distinctive IoT arrangements work with common backend services, which will ensure levels of portability, interoperability, and manageability that are practically difficult to accomplish with the present age of IoT solutions.
IoT companies are ever reluctant to agree upon a common interoperability protocols and standards for sharing data along with hardware sensors that garners the data. Security experts and practitioners confirm that lack of a common IoT standard in the primary reason why businesses are hesitant to scale up in their adoption of IoT devices. Gartner says it’s the sheer number of IoT use cases that add to a fiercely divergent number of ways to deal with IoT issues. This is the main reason for interoperability issues and which in turn is the reason for security vulnerabilities.
On one part there is no globally acclaimed standard. On the other hand there are various IoT standards that make it so difficult for one standard to gain global ground. There are standards like IEEE P2413, AllJoyn, Intel’s Open Interconnect Consortium and many others. But a global standard is still a distant dream.
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$6 billion will be spent on IoT technology in the period 2016-2021. The estimated revenue from these investments will be $13 trillion by 2025. A staggering 2,000 times ROI (return on investment) in the scale of trillions of dollars. This is the reason why organizations across the world should reach a consensus on the standards which will oversee all IoT operations in the future. Lack of common standards will only add to security vulnerabilities with our security infrastructure being very feeble in the first place. If you want to make an internet of things of huge number of self-driving cars, smart cities a reality then a common set of standards is a must. We sincerely hope that global corporations leave aside their petty differences and collectively participate in the IoT revolution by conforming to a sound global IoT standard.
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