Canada: Transform Your Business With The Internet Of Things

Every business can benefit from the Internet of Things – just start small and choose wisely when deciding which operations you want to target

Does your workplace have smart lighting that only comes on when it detects motion? Does your heating and air conditioning work in a similar way? Or maybe you have a refrigerator in the kitchen that orders food direct from the supermarket when supplies run low.

If you use any of this technology then you're already part of the Internet of Things (IoT) – a network of business or consumer devices with embedded sensors, communications and analytics enabling them to respond to the external environment.

Industry watchers estimate that by 2020, between 20 billion and 30 billion devices will be interconnected all over the globe. Steve Perkins, Grant Thornton's global leader for technology, media and telecommunications says that the IoT is destined to prove more revolutionary for businesses than the Internet itself ever was.

"Companies that aren't proactive risk being seriously disrupted and rendered irrelevant," says Perkins, who also leads Grant Thornton's technology industry practice in the US. "On the positive side, it's a first-mover opportunity for companies to consider what new products and services they can introduce into existing business models . Analytics to make sense of the huge new mass of data that the IoT will generate, represents the brightest opportunity This doesn't only apply to high-tech companies. It applies to every industry in every sector.

Transformational technology

Alex Bazin, vice president and head of IoT at technology giant Fujitsu, says that both big and small companies are transforming themselves with the new technology.

"A lot of companies, particularly in manufacturing, are starting to move up the value chain to take on a much stronger service role," he says. "For instance, companies that supply life jackets to airliners will get a big order every few years and the airline will store the equipment until it's needed. Storing the life jackets is inconvenient and expensive for the airline, and the manufacturer faces months or even years without a new order.

"But with IoT-based sensor technology built into the life jackets, the supplier can know where they are, what condition they're in, whether they've been damaged or tampered with. They can take on the management task from the airline and supply just-in-time delivery, which means the airline doesn't have to worry about maintaining large stocks and the manufacturer can rely on a regular revenue stream. Everybody wins."

Damian Gleeson, a partner in audit and assurance at Grant Thornton Ireland, says every business involved in transportation can benefit from the IoT too. "Traditionally, getting a vehicle's tyres checked and changed meant taking it off the road and booking it into the garage. That cost time and money. Now, sensors can be built into the tyre to report directly on its condition, meaning it only comes off the road when absolutely necessary. The same principle can be applied to every single component on the vehicle that is susceptible to wear and tear."

At your own pace

"The beauty of smart technology like this is that it doesn't demand big upfront investment," says Bazin. "It's easy for a company to identify three or four ways in which their operations could be made more efficient, and then decide on small scale technological implementations to solve them. They can see the first benefits and then upscale as fast or as slowly as they like."

Crucially, adds Gleeson, mid-market business owners don't need technological skills to develop an IoT strategy. "There are plenty of university research and development departments that would be delighted to listen to their problems and challenges and then find ways of implementing solutions that would work," he says. "The students get hands-on applied research experience and the company gets advice about how additional connectivity and the Internet of Things can help their business."

The security issue

Data privacy and security pose an important potential problem. The interconnection of billions of devices will produce complex networks with vast amounts of information and make the protection of data even more difficult and more crucial than it is now. "There could be a serious business risk if your data gets into the wrong hands," says Gleeson. "Ultimately, it's hard to control where your data ends up if it's passed down a chain from one device to another but it's a risk that can be mitigated by caution and discipline in data handling and tracking."

Risky as it has the potential to be, the Internet of Things is here. Billy Bosworth, CEO of California-based software giant DataStax recently summed up the change that it's bringing: "Ten years from now, when we look back at how this era evolved, we will be stunned at how uninformed we used to be when we made decisions."

All mid-market company leaders who want to improve their operational efficiency and take more informed decisions would do well to consider how they can start implementing IoT technology into their business in small ways.

The costs of IoT technology are falling all the time, making it affordable to businesses of all sizes. But according to research firm Gartner, only 7% of companies are ready to embrace the Internet of Things – which means that 93% are missing out on the opportunities for enhanced products and extra service offerings.

At the moment regulators are struggling to keep up with the changes these complex networks are bringing, but they will create new regulations and businesses should be aware of that too. But for those dynamic organisations that seize the moment, whatever their size, there are real business advantages to be gained.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
3 Nov 2016, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

You're warmly invited to attend our annual, complimentary seminar for charities on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016. Enjoy breakfast with your peers, then glean valuable insights about operating and growing successful charities from industry specialists who will be sharing their expertise and knowledge. Afterwards the presenters will be happy to answer questions, and there'll be plenty of time to connect with other attendees. Be sure to register soon—seats fill quickly!

9 Nov 2016, Seminar, Ontario, Canada

You're warmly invited to attend our annual, complimentary seminar for not-for-profits on Thursday, November 10, 2016. Enjoy breakfast with your peers, then glean valuable insights about operating and growing successful not-for-profits from industry specialists who will be sharing their expertise and knowledge. Afterwards the presenters will be happy to answer questions, and there'll be plenty of time to connect with other attendees. Be sure to register soon—seats fill quickly!

17 Nov 2016, Seminar, Toronto, Canada

You're warmly invited to attend our annual, complimentary seminar for not-for-profits on Thursday, November 17, 2016. Enjoy breakfast with your peers, then glean valuable insights about operating and growing successful not-for-profits from industry specialists who will be sharing their expertise and knowledge. Afterwards the presenters will be happy to answer questions, and there'll be plenty of time to connect with other attendees. Be sure to register soon—seats fill quickly!

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.