IoT's Evolution to the Converged Platform of the Future

Aaron Gette,CIO,The Bay Club Company
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With the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming more a part of our everyday lives, almost everything is connected and intelligent. We have seen the transformation of innovative ideas from 2015 into mainstays of our everyday lives. The driving force behind this is an ever growing smarter more aware IoT landscape. Not only are the devices less expensive and readily available, but their cognitive capacity and ability to manage effectively at the edge has grown immensely. We will see more and more opportunities for new applications and the realization of potentials that were inconceivable this past year. Soon every company will participate in IoT, as executives are scrambling to grasp IoT options to drive revenues and efficiency. Developing capabilities in response to IoT platforms becoming the norm, companies that move from experimentation to value will harness the real power of IoT and maximize the opportunity whatever the vertical.

In recent years, IoT has brought the vision of a more connected world into reality. The sheer volume of data and services that are delivered in diverse networks came into play thanks in part to cloud computing and data sharing platforms. With the convergence of IoT and Cloud, any business can now take advantage of new opportunities in both technologies. The right IoT strategy will open a new horizon of pervasive sensing, interconnecting devices, sharing services, supporting better communication and collaboration among people and things. It is not the future; it’s the here and now in a distributed and dynamic infrastructure. IoT can also provide powerful processing, as well as automated decision making in real time. This convergence has not only enabled the development of new innovative applications, but it is also having a real impact on brick and mortar businesses; providing an intelligent and more connected experience with all aspects of life.

  ​IoT has brought the vision of a more connected world into reality   

We continue to make progress in the evolution of IoT and cloud convergence, but not much attention has been given to the impact of next generation mobile and wireless networking technologies. The next generation networking technologies will be the success factor for realizing this convergence. They will facilitate resource-constrained devices to communicate efficiently with faster data generation and processing as well as improve data transmission; paving the way for a new form of interaction between IoT and Cloud. Also contributing to the shift in IoT technology is the increasing computing capacity of devices. Autonomous activity without central management of computing at the edge created by these increased capabilities. In parallel, platform and analytics are gaining on managed cloud-scale deployments of IoT in multiple verticals. The convergence of these is enabling IoT-based transformation in almost every industry.

The devices or things of IoT are getting smarter and cheaper, with the capacity of processors used in things increasing in size and efficiency faster than traditional PCs, while prices are declining. The processors used in devices are adding functionality and capability at the chip level. New sensing capability will add to the standard location, motion, and environmental sensors in the processor. The processing power and efficiency allow for more inexpensive access to information’s and extended operation. Many consumer devices can now customize their interaction with an individual while leveraging intelligence from the collective interaction across a population. The added benefit of greater compute capacity is the ability to run common programming languages on devices. Platforms like Java have enticed a large population of innovators to get involved in IoT development. As the platforms evolve, components that are added to development environments are available to IoT software developers. Until recently, development environments have been specific to devices due to the lack of open standards. The ability to run open-standard programming languages, like Java, have enabled platform capabilities needed to secure, connect, and manage the software lifecycle. Industry IT leaders are taking advantage of open platforms to manage large-scale deployments.  A converged platform for this is available for provisioning, patching, software deployment, and security. The next generation of IoT is effective in a large variety of use cases, from consumer to industrial. Capable of autonomously operating with decentralized command and control, enabling secure, scalable management of deployed devices.

The things around us are more connected than ever. Previous limitations in form factor by the functional capabilities no longer hampers a device from connecting to the Internet for extended periods of time. Advances in technologies combined with low energy protocols allow providers to make devices that can be productive for many years. Devices will become unleashed from power limitations, extending communications to connect locally and to any other entity in the cloud. We now see many devices that can interact with the cloud as well as locally in home consumer networks using technologies like Bluetooth low energy.

Although the components of IoT have evolved and are now commonly available, the combination of these technologies is forming as a converged IoT platform. These converged technologies will continue to evolve and be influenced by each other in ways that will have transformational effects in the years to come. The IT leaders who take advantage of these IoT realities and apply them to the goals of their business will push the boundaries of customer experience, further creating a digital experience that shapes all our lives.

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