The “internet of things” (IoT) is an emerging and quite intriguing development in information and communication technology. The concept involves the use of electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, or simple wearable sensors in watches and bracelets, which are able to communicate with other devices when connected to the internet.
Developed countries have successfully managed to use IoT technology in various sectors, mainly in industrial productions, in monitoring the environment and also in inventory management systems. Unfortunately, there are only a few of these practical applications in developing nations. However, experts believe that these countries can maximize these benefits by up to 40% increase in economic growth by 2025. This will translate to increased productivity, improved infrastructure, better service delivery, and an overall socially and economically sustainable nation.
Experts advice that Emerging and developing nations which aim at improving the living condition of the citizens ought to prioritize on these IoT projects before delving into more sophisticated ones.
Developing countries are often characterized by poor infrastructure. Fortunately, the IoT technology can help to transform it in different ways. They can employ this technology to improve different supply chains within the economy, such as the provision of vaccines, especially to the rural undeveloped regions within the countries.
Most economic challenges are due to inadequate resources and technical know-how. IoT can help to improve various economic sectors such as agriculture by boosting the yields for both small- and large-scale farmers. In Sri Lanka, for instance, they now use sensors to monitor moisture, and nutrient contents in the tea plantations and, in turn, add water and nutrients accordingly.
Most people in developing countries find it a challenge to access basic services such as insurance and healthcare. Luckily, IoT provides ways to make these and more services available to unprivileged citizens at affordable rates.
However, developing countries also face major challenges that hinder the use of IoT. These include inadequate infrastructures such as unreliable power systems that can support the exchange of high quality and high volumes of data. IoT also demands a technical system that allows the safe exchange of data without the risk of cyber related insecurities such as hacking. The experts delegated with IoT technology also lack the technical knowledge on how to operate and maintain this unique technology. Therefore, for the IoT to fully realize its potential, certain infrastructures have to be availed. These nations need to tackle these problems first to fulfill all the IoT expectations.