The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the major enablers of the digital transformation trend Europe currently is facing. It represents the vision that every object and location in the physical world can become part of the Internet. The McKinsey Global Institute underpins the status of IoT as a game changer: “IoT will change the bases of competition and drive new business models for user and supplier companies.”
The IoT will enable – and in some cases force – new business models for companies that use IoT systems in their operations, while creating new lines of business for technology companies. As a result, Europe is also facing a digitalization of business processes. While consumer products increasingly use cloud services and wireless connections, industry applications are hindered by the fear of malign consequences.
Physical parts of the IoT such as sensors/actuators and wired communication are generally well developed and established. However, wireless solutions – although having major benefits for usage, such as increased flexibility, mobile applications, weight reduction, adaptability for changes etc. – are not yet fully accepted. They are still regarded untrustworthy, in particular when it comes to application areas where security and privacy are required.