What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (2023)

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It's your equipment, machines, products, and devices that are connected to the cloud and outfitted to collect and securely transmit data.

What is Internet of Things (IoT) and how can it help your business?

IoT enables your organization to analyze and act on data, allowing you to make smart decisions in real-time. With the timely and relevant insights about your business and customers that come with these new sources of data, there's great potential for industries of all kinds—including manufacturing, transportation, energy, agriculture, retail, and government—to operate more efficiently and provide new value to customers by implementing the right IoT solution.

What is the Internet of Things used for?

In short, IoT lets you solve your business problems using your own data. The Internet of Things isn't just about connected devices—it's about the information those devices collect and the powerful, immediate insights that can be garnered from that information. These insights can be used to transform your business and lower costs through improvements like reduction of wasted materials, streamlined operational and mechanical processes, or expansion into new lines of business that are only made possible with reliable real-time data. Create a real competitive advantage by using IoT to turn your data into insights and turn those insights into action.

What are some IoT examples?

Remote monitoring

Monitor almost any kind of asset—including heavy machinery, vehicles, and even livestock—almost anywhere, either continuously or at regular intervals. By tracking location, performance, condition, or environmental factors, the insights you gain from IoT-connected things may help you:

  • Reduce your service costs and refine your business processes.
  • Understand how your products are performing to provide a better experience for your customers.
  • Increase the number of appointments per day, cut fuel costs, and reduce wear-and-tear by using machine learning capabilities to route freight or vehicles more efficiently.

Know where your resources are at any given moment—down to which vehicle they’re on—for improved field service, stronger security, and increased employee safety.

Learn about remote monitoring

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (1)

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (2)

Predictive maintenance

Similar to remote monitoring, predictive maintenance incorporates machine learning software that analyzes data to predict outcomes and automate actions. Predictive capabilities allow service providers to move beyond the traditional reactive and scheduled maintenance business model and use their data to identify issues before they become critical. This gives technicians the opportunity to intervene before customers even realize there's a problem. Armed with this information, you're able to:

  • Figure out what mechanical or operational conditions are causing failures or slowdowns.
  • Better predict what spare parts to keep in your inventory before repair issues arise.
  • Move beyond a break/fix business model by preventing equipment failures through preventative maintenance.

Learn about predictive maintenance

Facilities management

This IoT scenario is focused on monitoring your buildings, infrastructure, and other spaces, allowing you to improve energy efficiency, space utilization, productivity, and safety using the data you collect. The insights you gain may help you:

  • Save money by automating lighting or optimizing heating and cooling cycles.
  • Increase employee or occupant satisfaction by keep equipment running or ensuring that supplies are stocked.

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (3)

(Video) AZ-900 Episode 14 | Azure IoT Services | IoT Hub, IoT Central, Azure Sphere

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (4)

Manufacturing efficiency

What is the internet of things used for in manufacturing? Every business is different, but many manufacturing processes share a common pathway from raw materials to finished products. With IoT, it's possible to learn from your own systems find new ways to manage your processes and product quality with data from your devices and sensors. With these data insights, you're able to:

  • Identify bottlenecks that reduce efficiency, enabling you to improve your process.
  • Reduce downtime caused by unplanned maintenance or equipment failure.
  • Eliminate substandard materials, parts, or errors before your product is complete.
  • Reduce downtime caused by unplanned maintenance or equipment failure.

Connected products

Connected products have smart, connective components that allow data to be exchanged between the product and its user, manufacturer, or environment. Related IoT solutions may help you build smart factories with new functionality, greater reliability, and higher product utilization. Using connected products, you're able to:

  • Streamline the development and maintenance of your products.
  • Provide more secure, connected experiences for your customers.
  • Create new lines of business with managed service and support.
  • Monitor how products perform to improve design, manufacturing, and reliability.

Explore how to create an intelligent factory solution

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (5)

What is IoT beneficial for?

Organizations that invest in the Internet of Things are able to deliver more value, including more personalized customer engagement, less waste of materials and labor, and increased operational efficiency. As data is collected and analyzed, new trends may even reveal new revenue opportunities. Because of these benefits, trends indicate that IoT use is both rapidly diversifying and becoming more commonplace.

Read the 2020 IoT signals report to learn more

Of IoT decision-makers surveyed:


have adopted IoT in 2020


believe IoT is critical to their company's continued success


plan to implement even more IoT in the future

Get started with IoT

Whether your company has the resources to plan and implement an IoT solution on its own or needs to work with a partner, the basic steps for a successful IoT deployment are usually the same:

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (6)

Define Internet of Things business cases.

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (7)

Work with an empowered team that represents OT, IT, and management.

(Video) What is IoT ? | IoT - Internet of Things | IoT Explained in 6 Minutes | How IoT Works? | Simplilearn

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (8)

Start small, working your way up in terms of scope and complexity after you’ve achieved initial success.

Define Internet of Things business cases

Rethink your current IoT-enabled business model or develop a new model that better supports how you interact with your customers.

Discover the right IoT insights for your business

Extract information from massive amounts of data with cloud analytics so that it's readily available and easily categorized. Use this information to better understand how your products or services are performing. Incorporate cloud analytics using fully managed IoT services that provide deeper insights to drive faster decision-making.

Start small—but think big

Gain new business insights using the equipment you already have and the right IoT solution. Start small, scale up at your own pace, and grow your business with secure, innovative IoT services.

Learn about IoT technologies and protocols

Develop a strong foundation in IoT to make the best choices for your project. Learn more about IoT technologies and protocols.

Accelerate your business transformation with IoT

Reduce complexity, lower costs, and speed up your time to market with fully managed IoT services.

Secure your IoT solutions

What is Internet of Things security and how is it different from regular cybersecurity? In short, IoT cybersecurity adds an extra layer of complexity as the cyber and the physical worlds converge. For this reason, it's important to monitor everything connected to your IoT solution and make sure to have threat monitoring in place to get alerts and address threats quickly. Learn more about Azure IoT security.

Take your IoT solutions from device to cloud

Build according to your needs with solutions for devices at the edge, in the cloud, and connected to your line-of-business systems. Edge computing lets data to be processed closer to where it's generated, enabling you to analyze that data closer to real-time. Cloud computing is a model in which servers, applications, data, and other resources are integrated and provided as a service over the Internet. Learn more about cloud computing.

Frequently asked questions

  • Simply put, the term Internet of Things refers to the entire network of physical devices, tools, appliances, equipment, machinery, and other smart objects that have the capability to collect data about the physical world and transmit that data through the internet.

  • On a basic level, IoT is used for collecting data about the physical world that would be very difficult or impossible for humans to collect without the aid of smart devices and monitoring systems. Insights derived from the data collected by these devices allow people to understand, monitor, and react to events or changes.

  • Internet of things devices come in all different forms and are used for a variety of different things—from helping individuals with day-to-day tasks to helping large organizations streamline operations and meet business goals. Things like smart appliances, smart lights, and smart door locks are all examples of IoT that you might find in someone's home. Examples of commercial and industrial IoT devices include things like smart factory or farming equipment, smart vehicles, and even entire connected factories, warehouses and buildings.

Explore Azure IoT solutions by industry

See use cases and internet of things examples by industry

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (9)


What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (10)


What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (11)

Industrial manufacturing

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (12)


What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (13)

Transportation and logistics

(Video) Introduction to Azure IoT | Azure IoT Tutorial For Beginners | Edureka

Discover Azure IoT services

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (14)

Azure Sphere

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (15)

Azure Digital Twins

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (16)

(Video) Internet of Things Patterns And Azure IoT Updates

Azure IoT Central

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (17)

Azure IoT Edge

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (18)

Azure IoT Hub

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (19)

Azure RTOS

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (20)

Azure Time Series Insights

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (21)

Windows 10 IoT Core Services

What is IoT (Internet of Things)? | Microsoft Azure (22)

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Which of the following are Internet of Things IoT services on Azure? ›

Internet of Things
  • Azure IoT Hub.
  • Go from proof of concept to proof of value.
  • Create, connect, and maintain secured intelligent IoT devices from the edge to the cloud.
  • Microsoft Defender for IoT. Unified threat protection for all your IoT/OT devices.
  • Windows for IoT.
  • Azure Machine Learning. ...
  • Azure Maps.

Is Microsoft Azure an IoT platform? ›

Use Azure IoT Central, a managed IoT application platform, to evaluate your IoT solution. Use Azure IoT platform services such as Azure IoT Hub and the Azure IoT device SDKs to build a custom IoT solution from scratch.

What is Azure IoT central used for? ›

Azure IoT Central is a ready-made UX and API surface for connecting and managing devices at scale, delivering reliable data for business insights. It preassembles platform as a service (PaaS) offerings, bringing together each service beneath it for an easy-to-configure, comprehensive, and secure IoT offering.

What is IoT give 5 examples? ›

Types of IoT

Consumer IoT - Primarily for everyday use. Eg: home appliances, voice assistance, and light fixtures. Commercial IoT - Primarily used in the healthcare and transport industries. Eg: smart pacemakers and monitoring systems.

What are the four 4 components of Internet of Things IoT )? ›

However, all complete IoT systems are the same in that they represent the integration of four distinct components: sensors/devices, connectivity, data processing, and a user interface.

What are the three 3 main components of IoT? ›

The basic three components of IoT includes “Things”, “Internet”, and “Connectivity”. Interoperable connection to local network, cloud or other devices. IoT components are tied together by networks, using various wireless and wireline technologies, standards, and protocols to provide pervasive connectivity.

Who uses Azure IoT? ›

Azure IoT Hub is most often used by companies with >10000 employees and >1000M dollars in revenue.
Who uses Azure IoT Hub?
CompanyLenovo Group Ltd
13 more rows

What is an example of IoT platform? ›

Smart home systems are examples of an IoT application. Amazon Echo is the most popular one. Smartwatches which allow text messages and phone calls are also an example of IoT applications. Fitbit is also an example of IoT devices.

What type of technology is Azure? ›

At its core, Azure is a public cloud computing platform—with solutions including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) that can be used for services such as analytics, virtual computing, storage, networking, and much more.

How do I connect IoT to Azure? ›

Create an IoT hub
  1. Launch your CLI app. ...
  2. Run az extension add to install or upgrade the azure-iot extension to the current version. ...
  3. In your CLI app, run the az group create command to create a resource group. ...
  4. Run the az iot hub create command to create an IoT hub.
Mar 11, 2022

How do I start Azure in IoT? ›

Getting started with Azure IoT Hub
  1. Step 1 : Login to Azure Portal. If you don't have an active Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.
  2. Step 2 : Create Azure IoT Hub. ...
  3. Step 3 : Create IoT Device. ...
  4. Step 4 : Connect ReButton to Azure IoT Hub. ...
  5. Step 5 : Verify Connection.

Is Azure IoT good? ›

Azure IoT is a great resource by Microsoft.

Azure iOT helps our dev teams with more flexibility and adds versatility to our environmental and remote monitoring applications. It's the only Cloud Resource in the Azure family that centralizes everything and allows us to integrate the architecture better.

What is an IoT in simple words? ›

The term IoT, or Internet of Things, refers to the collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between devices and the cloud, as well as between the devices themselves.

What is IoT in very simple words? ›

What is IoT? The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.

How does IoT work in simple words? ›

The internet of things, or IoT, is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers (UIDs) and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

What are the benefits of IoT? ›

What are the benefits of IoT?
  • Real-time asset/resource visibility.
  • Reduced costs.
  • Improved operational efficiency.
  • Data-driven insights for quick decision-making.
  • End-to-end, remote monitoring and management of assets/resources.
  • Real-time, predictive and prescriptive insights.
  • Improve end-customer experience.

What are the most common IoT applications? ›

List of Top 10 Applications of IoT
  • Self-driven Cars.
  • IoT Retail Shops.
  • Farming.
  • Wearables.
  • Smart Grids.
  • Industrial Internet.
  • Telehealth.
  • Smart Supply-chain Management.

Why is IoT so important? ›

IoT tracking provides an efficient means to track and monitor anything from vehicle fleets, stolen goods, or shipping containers. Particular devices can even detect changes in the environment. There are multiple industries where IoT trackers can immensely improve the efficiency of companies.

Which devices are called IoT devices? ›

Anything that has a sensor attached to it and can transmit data from one object to another or to people with the help of internet is known as an IoT device. The IoT devices include wireless sensors, software, actuators, computer devices and more.

What are advantages and disadvantages of IoT? ›

Comparison Table for Advantages & Disadvantages of IoT
Minimizes the human work and effortIncreased privacy concerns
Saves time and effortIncreased unemployment rates
Good for personal safety and securityHighly dependent on the internet
4 more rows
Jan 12, 2022

Is Azure IoT free? ›

Azure IoT Edge service itself is free but requires Azure IoT Hub for the secure management of devices. If you choose to access Azure services (Modules) with IoT Edge you are billed for the specific service based on its billing model for use on the edge.

Who is leading the IoT industry? ›

#1) iTechArt (New York, US) iTechArt Group is a custom software development company with a heavy focus on delivering feature-rich and secure IoT solutions for startups and fast-growing tech companies.

Which cloud provider is best for IoT? ›

10 Best IoT Cloud Platforms and their Comparison
  1. Amazon Web Services IoT Platform. Amazon dominates the consumer cloud market. ...
  2. Microsoft Azure IoT Hub. ...
  3. IBM Watson IoT Cloud Platform. ...
  4. Google IoT Cloud Platform. ...
  5. Oracle IoT. ...
  6. Salesforce IoT. ...
  7. Bosch. ...
  8. Cisco IoT Cloud Connect.

What are three examples of IoT? ›

Smart Mobiles, smart refrigerators, smartwatches, smart fire alarms, smart door locks, smart bicycles, medical sensors, fitness trackers, smart security system, etc., are few examples of IoT products.

Which are 5 layers of IoT? ›

  • Perception Layer.
  • Connectivity Layer.
  • Edge Layer.
  • Processing Layer.
  • Application Layer.
  • Business Layer.
  • Security Layer.
Sep 27, 2022

What is Azure and how it works? ›

Azure is a huge collection of servers and networking hardware, which runs a complex set of distributed applications. These applications orchestrate the configuration and operation of virtualized hardware and software on those servers. The orchestration of these servers is what makes Azure so powerful.

What are the three components of Azure? ›

A wide range of Microsoft's software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) products are hosted on Azure. Azure offers three core areas of functionality; Virtual Machines, cloud services, and app services.

What is Azure best known for? ›

Being the only constant hybrid cloud, Microsoft Azure is known for helping businesses overcome challenges related to cloud services.
Azure Backup
  • Centralized monitoring and management.
  • App-consistent backups.
  • Retain short and long term data.
  • Automatic storage management.
  • Multiple storage options.

How do I create an IoT device in Azure? ›

Sign in to the Azure portal. On the Azure homepage, select the + Create a resource button. From the Categories menu, select Internet of Things, and then select IoT Hub.

How IoT and cloud is connected? ›

Cloud Computing in IoT works as part of a collaboration and is used to store IoT data. The Cloud is a centralised server containing computer resources that can be accessed whenever required. Cloud Computing is an easy travel method for the large data packages generated by the IoT through the Internet.

How do I send data to cloud in IoT? ›

IoT Workshop: Lab 4 - Sending Data to the Cloud
  1. Step 1: Bill of Materials. ...
  2. Step 2: Wiring the Board. ...
  3. Step 3: Prepare Nitrogen. ...
  4. Step 4: Update the NPM Dependencies. ...
  5. Step 5: Set the Objects. ...
  6. Step 6: Create the Board. ...
  7. Step 7: Connect to Nitrogen and Send Data. ...
  8. Step 8: Run the App and Verify Data Is Being Sent.

Can a beginner learn Azure? ›

If you are a fresher or a global working professional who is interested in learning cloud management, then Azure is the right platform for you! Azure is a powerful cloud management platform that gives you the flexibility to create any type of online application.

Can I learn Azure on my own? ›

Yes! There is no pre-requisite in learning Azure and the AZ-900 in this platform will help you understand Azure basics and for sure can make you explain what each and every offering Azure currently has.

Is Azure easy to learn? ›

Both Azure and AWS may be difficult to learn if you don't know what you're doing, or they can be quite simple if you're well instructed. Many IT experts, however, argue that AWS is far easier to learn and obtain certification in.

Which platform is best for Azure? ›

10 Best Online Courses to learn Microsoft Azure for 2022
  • AZ-900: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam Prep. ...
  • Microsoft Azure Fundamentals AZ-900 Exam Prep Specialization [Coursera + Microsoft] ...
  • Microsoft Azure Fundamentals [Pluralsight] ...
  • Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines by Microsoft [edX]

What are the disadvantages of Azure? ›

Cons of Microsoft Azure
  • Complexity. As a SaaS platform, Azure can easily become an extremely complicated environment for larger companies. ...
  • Data Transfer. Azure services are all subject to data transfer fees that are often the cause of stacked hidden fees. ...
  • Support. ...
  • Complicated Pricing.

How do you explain IoT to a child? ›

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects dumb devices like refrigerators to the internet and uses software to connect them to our daily lives. Can a car talk to a house? In the future, your car might tell your house that you are five miles away and please turn on the lights and warm up the house.

What is IoT and why does it matter? ›

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a vast number of “things” that are connected to the internet so they can share data with other things – IoT applications, connected devices, industrial machines and more. Internet-connected devices use built-in sensors to collect data and, in some cases, act on it.

Where is IoT used? ›

Several industries use IoT, such as resource optimization through sensors in the manufacturing industry, real-timecorp and water resource monitoring in the agriculture industry, and IoT appliances in the Healthcare industry. It is crucial to set security standards to control the adverse effects of IoT uses.

What is IoT give 3 examples of IoT and how does it work? ›

IoT connects a variety of sensors, alarms, cameras, lights, and microphones to provide nonstop security—all of which can be controlled from a smartphone. For example, the Ring doorbell camera security system allows users to see, hear, and speak to visitors at their door via a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

What is the main principle of IoT? ›

The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing but “A network of Internet-connected objects able to collect and exchange data”. IoT works by connecting items and then having the ability to sense and communicate. This leads the devices to communicate or interact with other devices and with the human.

How is IoT used in everyday life? ›

Use of IoT is also exploding in the consumer sector. Dishwashers, refrigerators, smart TVs, smart watches, cars and trucks, heating and cooling systems, fitness machines and trackers are examples of IoT-enabled products with which you may have personal experience!

What types of services are IoT? ›

IoT (Internet of Things) is a network of devices that are connected to the internet for transferring and sensing the data without much human intervention; since IoT is supposed to make the device smart, this technology is used by various industries and domains to get services like Medical treatment, Remote Control, ...

What is the IoT and why is it important? ›

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects—“things”—that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.

What are the three types of IoT devices? ›

They can communicate usable sensor data to users, businesses and other intended parties. The devices can be categorized into three main groups: consumer, enterprise and industrial. Consumer connected devices include smart TVs, smart speakers, toys, wearables and smart appliances.

What are the different types of IoT model? ›

Types of Communication Model:
  • Request & Response Model – This model follows a client-server architecture. ...
  • Publisher-Subscriber Model – This model comprises three entities: Publishers, Brokers, and Consumers. ...
  • Push-Pull Model – ...
  • Exclusive Pair –


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