The decentralized Internet of Everything (IoE) for the retail industry is becoming increasingly apparent due to the various issues that current solutions are facing. DIgitalization on a global scale is on the move and has taken giant steps; the Internet of Things (IoT) devices deployment is a good example. But this digital expansion has to tackle certain hurdles that present technological solutions haven’t been able to achieve.

The significant problems that current centralized solutions face are security, privacy, and latency. As such, the acceleration of IoT devices deployment is losing momentum; therefore, the change to a decentralized architecture orchestrated by IoE and AI-powered has the potential to transform the scene and let industry 4.0 evolve.

Before introducing the benefits of a decentralized IoE for the retail industry, we’ll look into the current problems, i.e., security, privacy, and latency. An overview description of the Internet of Everything and the Internet of Things and some examples of IoT devices actuating in the retail industry.

Why is decentralization a MUST?

As mentioned in the introduction, current centralized solutions face significant hurdles that cannot be tackled with the options at hand. Mainly security, privacy, and latency; let’s look at these in more depth.

Security and privacy issues in centralized digital solutions

The problems digitalization has had with security can be seen almost since the beginning of the mainstream internet. The basis comes from centralization, which permits cyber-criminals and cyber-terrorists to target one point to take down a network. A considerable problem is enlarged with the exponential growth of IoT devices and the target to acquire a global scale.

The more connections there are to a centralized point, i.e., server centers and cloud services, the higher the cyberattacks possibility. There are various ways to target a network, fundamentally with ransomware, malware, DDoS attacks, and phishing. We give a brief description of these:

· Ransomware: A type of malware from cryptovirology threatening to publish personal data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid.
· Malware: Is software that has been created to damage or utilize a part of software or hardware.
· Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) — These attacks are designed to saturate the organization’s online operations with many requests that cripple interruption in one or more of its services.
· Phishing grounds its potential by sending a fraudulent message intended to trick the receiver into exposing sensitive information or deploying malicious software into the victim's infrastructure.

There are many and varied examples of these cyberattacks occurring on an ongoing basis. With the exponential growth of connected devices, sensors, machines, etc., to the internet, the higher the risk. No one is safe from these cybercriminal organizations. In early-2020, the multinational cloud services provider AWS, part of Amazon, received the largest DDoS attack to date.

Other cases of cyberattacks are the early-2021 Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, in which, due to the inability to bill the customers, halted the pipeline operation. In the healthcare industry, Nebraska Medicine lost over 219K users’ personal data to a malware attack in late-2020. These are just a couple of cyberattacks that have caused havoc and the loss of millions of dollars.

The latency issues centralized solutions present

In simple terms, latency is the time between user action and the response from the website or application to this action. As well as the bandwidth capacity and throughput:

· Bandwidth: The maximum amount of data that can pass through the network at any given time.
· Throughput: The average amount of data passes through over a given time.

One of the major reasons for latency is the distance between the client and the center that provides the service. In addition, the capacity of the centers’ bandwidth and throughput aggregate to the slowness of the response. As a result, retail stores that are not close enough to cloud services will have latency problems. Clients who want services or products at that precise moment can be a great problem in terms of revenue loss and customer satisfaction.

What is the Internet of Everything (IoE)?

The Internet of Everything is the logical evolution of the IoT devices deployment on a global scale. As the growing adoption of wearable devices is increasing and being applied in all aspects of people’s lives, there is a need to coordinate all the data created. In this sense, the Internet of Everything is based on four fundamental pillars — people, data, things, and processes, to interconnect them and produce an intelligent outcome of the data to information.

So how do these four pillars work together?

1. People — Although, at present, wearables usage comes through healthcare sensors and fitness trackers, and to these, we can add that people also use computers, smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. But soon, where IoE will be fundamental, data produced by people will come from their homes, vehicles, leisure resorts, waste, and much more. To orchestrate this Big Data, the Internet of Everything, with the aid of AI and M2M (machine to machine) analytical innovations, will have the power to deliver actionable and specific data to information. Tailored to the necessities of each individual and business, resulting in decisive decision-making to reach optimal living standards or business goals.
2. Data — The generation of data is enormous; around 2.5 quintillion bytes are created every day. With the implementation of a global IoT devices deployment and the adoption of people using it, this number will exponentially increase. To this, we have to consider that we are talking about raw data, which has no value; there needs to be a refinement for it to power actions. IoE makes this refinement possible, offering data to information that provides insights resulting in intelligent solutions.
3. Things — Aggregating the orchestration of IoE into IoT devices deployment ignites a path in which embedded sensors can output and input data on their real-time status and send it to the needed destination across the network. All this is an autonomous workflow that provides a dynamic data flow.
4. Processes — The primary goal of processing is to deliver precise information to the specific person and machine at the correct time. This processing format is driven by innovative analytical technologies comprised of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and social networks.

To synchronize this astonishing network where everything is connected to the internet, Big Data results in intelligent information to act on. Prompts the capacity of technology to create enormous amounts of value for social engineering, business management, or maximizing sustainable projects to reduce the carbon footprint. Following, we present current IoT deployments that benefit the retail industry, and that, with an IoE decentralized architecture, can thrive today and in the future.

The benefits IoT technology offers to the retail industry

The Internet of Things is shaping the future of all industry verticals, offering better management in general terms, reducing costs, and insights that actuate sustainability issues. Adding to these benefits, the power of a decentralized IoE for retail opens a bright future within a secure, private, and real-time digitalization on a global scale.

Enhancing the management’s supply chain

IoT embedded can monitor and track the supply chain throughout the timeline, giving accurate information. The insights offered by IoT sensors are, for example, the duration and the product's storage temperature during transportation and with real-time analysis. Considering that there is a massive market of perishable goods, these benefits are paramount, giving retail companies the potential to reduce product loss and thus, increase revenue.

Curated customer service

Operating with IoT applications, brick and mortar retailers obtain a holistic view of their customers. A possibility is actioned by synthesizing data from video surveillance cameras, mobile devices, and social media websites, allowing merchants to predict customer behavior better.

Inventory management made smart

Inventory management in the retail industry is time-consuming and, when done by humans, prone to miscalculations leading to overstock or stock-outs. Therefore, having IoT applications implemented in this business sector offers incredible advantages. This results in automated alerts for the need for particular products, thus enhancing procurement planning.

Checkout automation

Nobody likes to wait in the queue to check a purchased product, and on many occasions, some customers won’t buy the product because of the long wait. IoT applications can automate this process with Point of Sales (PoS) systems that allow customers to leave the store without needing to queue. The PoS can read tags and automatically charge for the product through a mobile app.

These benefits can thrive today and in the future by implementing a decentralized Internet of Everything architecture—eliminating the threat of cyber-criminals and cyber-terrorists creating havoc within the retail industry—locking down networks or acquiring sensitive information only through a ransom of thousands or millions of dollars.

Implementing IoE decentralization also alleviates stores from the location because they are not tied to server centers. Mitigating the latency conundrum that centralized solutions have to deal with affects the end-user, i.e., the customers.

How can IoE Corp help your retail business?

Current solutions demonstrate a global IoT devices deployment after an overview of the retail industry, digitalization, and the problems. We hope you can see the importance of the need for a decentralized IoE for retail.

IoE Corp has seen this growing problem and offers groundbreaking technologies to accelerate IoT devices deployment. Our Eden System is a decentralized, autonomous, portable, secure, virtual infrastructure for managing clustered workloads over depos (decentralized pods) and services that facilitate both declarative configuration and automation.

Although, IoE Corp Eden is not a traditional, all-inclusive PaaS (Platform as a Service) or IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) system. Instead, our Eden System is a secured walled garden solution that operates at the service level rather than the hardware level; it provides features common to PaaS and IaaS offerings, such as deployment, scaling, and load balancing.

However, Eden is not monolithic, and thus the aforementioned default solutions are optional and pluggable. Our Eden System provides the building blocks for building and deploying the service but preserves user choice and flexibility where it is essential.

Want to learn more about IoE Corp Eden System?

Contact our expert retail team for a curated analysis of your business needs. We offer a digitalization focused on a human-first approach that ignites safety, sustainability, and cost-efficiency and is seamlessly implemented into your company's infrastructure.

A reliable digital solution to act on the present and future needs to help you keep one step ahead of the crowd and become a leader in the retail industry.

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