The advent of cloud infrastructure has laid the foundation for companies to capture, process, and analyze data at tremendous scale. Over the past few years, these data systems have evolved from operating on largely static data stores to processing vast streams of data in near real time. With the ability to process these data streams, companies have networks of physical objects that, until recently, had no relationship to cloud datacenters. Now, any electrical device or sensor can conceptually capture data and communicate this information back to these data processing systems. This has unlocked what has been termed the Internet of Things (IoT) and the application possibilities for this technology appear virtually endless. In fact, industry research firm IDC recently predicted that the number of IoT devices installed will double to a total of 22 billion by 2018.
IoT is reimagining the way we use devices. I recently met with a friend that works at a company that manufactures what have traditionally been intelligent sensors to optimize traffic at intersections. What had been a localized system is now being connected to coordinate traffic flow across arteries and provide congestion and traffic data back to local municipalities in real time. They believe they are just on the tip of the iceberg in what can be accomplished.
With so many exciting possibilities, it’s no surprise that IoT is predicted to experience such rapid growth in the next few years. As sensors, computer chips, and transmitters are being integrated into more and more devices that people use in their daily personal and professional lives, an incredible amount of data will be created, giving enterprises and organizations the opportunity to derive insights based on the analysis of that data.
However, in order for an enterprise to take advantage of this technology it will need the right foundation of cloud infrastructure. A cloud platform will enable the company to accommodate the mammoth amount of data needed when implementing an IoT application. The cloud provides a cost-effective way to collect, process, and analyze that data – and cloud vendors are leveraging their platforms with new toolsets to capitalize on the opportunity. Both AWS and Microsoft recently announced IoT platforms in the form of AWS IoT(beta) and the Azure IoT Suite. The goal of these new platforms is to assist companies that want to connect their physical devices to cloud infrastructure. The pace of change in both these platforms poses challenges to a company, but a trusted managed service partner like Datapipe with expertise in both platforms can help execute on their desired strategy.
With an increase in traffic and datacenter volumes, the cloud becomes an increasingly attractive option for organizations seeking a cost-effective infrastructure solution to IoT. Although there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to refine these strategies, numerous industries – particularly consumer goods, healthcare, energy, and transportation – are already experiencing the benefits of IoT. Deploying and managing IoT technology is a complex process for most organizations that involves big data infrastructure, storage and analysis. Deploying IoT enabling technology successfully is a specialized skill that current IT organizations may not have; those organizations can turn to a managed service providers to leverage their experience and expertise with the management of cloud platforms. With the systems in place, an enterprise can focus on transformational activities they unlock with the new insights this new technology platform provides them.