The Internet of Behaviours (IoB): An Introduction
The Internet of Things (IoT) has now gotten to the point of familiarity in both the IT sector and general business such that it is no longer a vague term wrapped up in confusion. The IoT, now more than ever, is vital in helping companies worldwide survive and thrive.
The network of software, machine learning, hardware, sensors, and other tech that makes up the IoT has helped businesses build a diverse understanding and data network. This knowledge has allowed companies to understand their customers' needs better. Not only that, it has helped create greater connectivity and allowed for the streamlining of data exchanges.
However, as a consequence of gathering this information, businesses are now gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the customers' practices, interests and inclinations, which has generated the concept known as the Internet of Behaviours (IoB). Still, in its inception, the IoB can be applied to businesses, individual budgets, working environments, and many other areas of work and life.
Gote Nyman, a professor at the University of Helsinki, created the idea of the IoB with a vision to "offer individuals and communities a new means to indicate selected and meaningful behaviour patterns". With that, Nyman also feels that IoB itself is a chaotic cycle, as measurements may miss the mark on creating a wholly accurate or comprehensive behavioural pattern. Nevertheless, with Big Data booming and more significant quantities of data generated each year, this may well change soon.
Business and IoB
Before you start to think that IoB is just another offshoot of Big Data harvesting your information for nefarious means, consider that the IoB will help change how businesses operate for the better. The consumer's mentalities and demands will be forcing firms to adopt new practices to maintain their customer base. Thus, consider the argument of diversity and inclusion in hiring. This notion is gaining wider attention by the month and businesses that negate its importance are often questioned for doing so, and can even attract negative backlash. Candidates may even stop working with such companies. The IoB is aimed at showing this type of data to the business. Therefore if Company A cannot obtain or act on this behavioural information while Company B does, it will likely impact its overall bottom line.
Cyber Security and the IoB
As with many innovations and new ways of transferring and storing information, unknown risks often arise. IoB may have the consequence of increasing the likelihood of cybercriminals hacking databases and stealing critical data. But this is only true if everyone working in cybersecurity suddenly stops working tomorrow. The fact of the matter is that there will always be some level of risk with technological innovation. However, the smart option is to analyse the risks and consider the possibilities. This means creating new security measures, new software or ways of operating and even new job opportunities for skilled IT professionals.
Recall the IoT's worries and how that created a dialogue of controversy and fear over data safety and protection. This was healthy and necessary as it has culminated in more streamlined processes and even legislation to protect the individual's rights. The IoB is no different in that respect.
The Future of IoT and IoB
Again, the IoB is still in its infancy. As new, more complex data and analysis become available, businesses and entities that continue to use it will be treading new territory. However, it is estimated that by 2025 IoB will be prevalent in both the public and private sector. What's more, is the prediction that 40% of the global population's individual activities will be tracked digitally. Now, this may seem like a shocking fact. Still, suppose you remember that the customer can ultimately shift the focus, goals, and business intentions. In that case, it gives the consumer a significant amount of power in how not only tech, business, or government progresses but quite possibly most of the world.