For many internal auditors the Internet of Things (IoT) may not yet be a central area of focus of their work, but there's a good chance that the IoT is already present in their personal lives. Wearables such as the Apple Watch or smart speakers like Amazon Echo, devices or “things” that are connected to the internet, are prime examples of how quickly IoT connectivity has become a feature of modern life.
There are an estimated 23 billion connected devices in the world, or three for every person on the planet, according to Statista, and this is forecast to rise to more than 75 billion by 2025. That is a relatively conservative estimate. Intel has said it expects there to be as many as 200 billion connected devices by as early as 2020.
IoT may seem like a new and overwhelming concept, but the internet itself is a global network of connected computers, or things, that has been in operation since the early '90s. IoT expands this network to a greater number of devices.
Much of the boom in the IoT will be in personal products, but there is vast scope for industrial and commercial applications, many of which already exist. These applications will help to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, improve revenues and reduce operational risks. Of course, they will also dramatically change organisations' risk profiles.
As with the adoption of any technology, organisations must understand how they can exploit IoT to their advantage, either by being an innovator or early adopter in their sector, or by rapidly assimilating advances made by other organisations.
Intel estimates that by 2025, the total global worth of IoT technology could be as much as $6.2trn; two industries anticipated to feel the greatest impact are healthcare and manufacturing, which could account for as much…