The IoT (Internet of Things) is a big part of our daily lives – it’s in our phones, computers, wearables, smart cars, light bulbs, streetlights, house hold appliances, heart monitors, etc. It gives us more control, automates things and helps us be more efficient. In that same way, IoT technology offers enterprises many opportunities to boost efficiency.
The IoT market is still in flux, with ongoing challenges related to interoperability and security, but it has gained significant momentum over the last year. It is considered a major driver of digital transformation, motivating enterprises to plan and prepare for IoT adoption.
Widespread IoT adoption and integration
The time for trepidation and skepticism is over. IoT adoption has gained traction for strategic planning and execution, and enterprises continue to invest and make considerable efforts to integrate IoT solutions with their legacy business systems. According to Gartner, there are currently 8.4 billion connected devices, and that number will grow to 25 billion by 2020. What’s more, a survey by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) of 200 business leaders found that 48 percent run their organizations using IoT technologies, and a further 43 percent are planning or expecting to deploy by 2018.
IoT and analytics
Stored inside IoT cloud platforms and fed into IoT analytic algorithms, Big Data now delivers smarter, actionable business insights. IoT technology increases the amount and quality of data available for analysis, and enterprises need to find reliable ways to hone in on high-value, target-rich data that is easy to access, relevant and actionable. Google Cloud just launched a new IoT management service called Google Cloud IoT Core that helps companies manage and process vital data generated from billions of IoT devices. Amazon and Microsoft had already launched similar platforms to keep up with growing demands of their cloud customers.
New IoT platforms and services
Many tech companies are revamping their platforms to better serve this new generation of enterprise businesses, including SAP, which introduced SAP Leonardo during the May 2017 Sapphire Now conference in Orlando, Florida. SAP Leonardo offers a new set of applications and services around blockchain, IoT and machine learning (ML).
"Transforming business models isn't about any given technology; it's about a lot of things working together,” SAP Senior Vice President of Analytics Mike Flannagan told PC Magazine. “So, Leonardo is bringing together our software assets around IoT, machine learning, Big Data analytics, blockchain and the SAP Cloud Platform."
As IoT adoption grows and mobile devices continue to increase in power, it makes sense to move processing out of those devices. Edge computing processes data directly at the source rather than at a remote data center or in the cloud. It is becoming widely used with IoT because it speeds data transmission to and from the cloud and can help during IoT deployments in remote locations with poor connectivity. Among recent developments are Microsoft’s launch of a new cloud service called Azure IoT Edge to help companies manage connected devices securely inside their edge computing solutions.
No set rules just yet
IoT adoption continues to be affected by security concerns. Plans for regulation and standardization continue to evolve as more groups emerge voicing concerns about interoperability, communication protocols and security issues. Although we’re closer than ever to standards interoperability with the recent merger of two of the main IoT standards groups, the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) and the AllSeen Alliance, there’s no clear path forward. OCF is currently creating specifications and sponsoring an open source project at the application layer so connected devices can communicate with each other. Dipti Vachani, vice president of the Internet of Things Group at Intel, told Network World that OCF intends to create the necessary interoperability middleware standards for all connected devices to interconnect and inter communicate regardless of manufacturer, operating system, chipset or physical transport.
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