IoT (Internet of Things) is taking over the world in an unprecedented manner. It is about bi-directionally connecting people, data, processes and things to create a smarter and more intelligent world, by building a grid of smart objects.
Data published by major research organizations predicts that there will be 25 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020, outnumbering the human population 3 to 1 by the end of this decade, putting 14 trillion dollars at stake.
Connecting various types of devices, not just computers, tablets and communication devices to the internet, could lead to new ways of working with a wide range of systems, machinery, sensors, domestic, personal smart devices and other appliances IoT includes everything, from devices used to monitor traffic signals and shipments to kitchen appliances like microwaves and refrigerators, to home security devices, utility meters, and medical devices just to name a few.
Let’s take a closer look at some examples of how IoT could impact everyday devices. Refrigerators for instance, might automatically be able to order food or milk for you, before you run out. Other devices might be able to manage your home security or smoke sensors while you are out, or predict traffic jams on your route and intelligently navigate your through other routes to help you reach the destinations. This can further be extended to all day-to-day human activities and to most any industry, including banking, health, insurance, manufacturing etc.
IoT works by connecting assets and objects, and then providing a data stream between the assets and the centralized grid control system. All objects generate and emit large chunks of data, which must be processed to provide real-time information for better predictions and insights for efficient decision making processes.
Most organizations are reshaping their business and IT initiatives and taking steps to get ready to meet this demand by including IoT as part of their roadmaps. Organizations must plan to use comprehensive IoT building blocks and expertise to revamp their enterprise architecture, individual components and data services to keep up with IoT tsunami. Planning for a phased approach to build the foundation and connect all existing infrastructure is important. The foundation can also be strengthened by adding interaction touch points, sensors, data analyzers, predictive analysis, cloud computing etc., and then defining governance models, organization processes and policies, which can help to adapt to the changes. Any changes made to the under-laying enterprise infrastructure and architecture cannot be completed without enhancing or improving the customer experience, as there will be multiple touch points and interactions by human and machines as part of IoT transformation.
There will certainly be a number of challenges associated with IoT. We should expect to deal with issues related to protocol wars, standardization, complex integrations, trust, security and privacy, legal and regulatory compliance adherence etc., but I am certain IoT will be a major technological transformation and revolution of everyday life.
The article was originally published on CIOL on March 30, 2015 and is re-posted here by permission.