IoT : Game Changing Tool for IT Industry

Posted by News Room On Wednesday, December 28, 2016 0 comments
The Internet of Things (IoT) is emerging as the next technology mega-trend, with repercussions across the business spectrum. By connecting to the Internet billions of everyday devices–ranging from fitness bracelets to industrial equipment–the IoT merges the physical and online worlds, opening up a host of new opportunities and challenges for companies, governments, and consumers. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an important topic in technology industry, policy, and engineering circles and has become headline news in both the specialty press and the popular media. This technology is embodied in a wide spectrum of networked products, systems, and sensors, which take advantage of advancements in computing power, electronics miniaturization, and network interconnections to offer new capabilities not previously possible. An abundance of conferences, reports, and news articles discuss and debate the prospective impact of the “IoT revolution”—from new market opportunities and business models to concerns about security, privacy, and technical interoperability. The large-scale implementation of IoT devices promises to transform many aspects of the way we live. For consumers, new IoT products like Internet-enabled appliances, home automation components, and energy management devices are moving us toward a vision of the “smart home’’, offering more security and energy efficiency  Other personal IoT devices like wearable fitness and health monitoring devices and network enabled medical devices are transforming the way healthcare services are delivered. This technology promises to be beneficial for people with disabilities and the elderly, enabling improved levels of independence and quality of life at a reasonable cost.1 IoT systems like networked vehicles, intelligent traffic systems, and sensors embedded in roads and bridges move us closer to the idea of “smart cities’’, which help minimize congestion and energy consumption. IoT technology offers the possibility to transform agriculture, industry, and energy production and distribution by increasing the availability of information along the value chain of production using networked sensors. However, IoT raises many issues and challenges that need to be considered and addressed in order for potential benefits to be realized. A number of companies and research organizations have offered a wide range of projections about the potential impact of IoT on the Internet and the economy during the next five to ten years. Cisco, for example, projects more than 24 billion Internet–connected objects by 2019; Morgan Stanley, however, projects 75 billion networked devices by 2020. Looking out further and raising the stakes higher, Huawei forecasts 100 billion IoT connections by 2025. McKinsey Global Institute suggests that the financial impact of IoT on the global economy may be as much as $3.9 to $11.1 trillion by 2025.5 While the variability in predictions makes any specific number questionable, collectively they paint a picture of significant growth and influence. Some observers see the IoT as a revolutionary fully–interconnected “smart” world of progress, efficiency, and opportunity, with the potential for adding billions in value to industry and the global economy. Others warn that the IoT represents a darker world of surveillance, privacy and security violations, and consumer lock–in. Attention-grabbing headlines about the hacking of Internet-connected automobiles, 7 surveillance concerns stemming from voice recognition features in “smart” TVs, 8 and privacy fears stemming from the potential misuse of IoT data9 have captured public attention. This “promise vs. peril” debate along with an influx of information though popular media and marketing can make the IoT a complex topic to understand. Fundamentally, the Internet Society cares about the IoT as it represents a growing aspect of how people and institutions are likely to interact with the Internet in their personal, social, and economic lives. If even modest projections are correct, an explosion of IoT applications could present a fundamental shift in how users engage with and are impacted by the Internet, raising new issues and different dimensions of existing challenges across user/consumer concerns, technology, policy and law. IoT also will likely have varying consequences in different economies and regions, bringing a diverse set of opportunities and challenges across the globe. While the multitude of approaches and companies gives early adopters pause, the key variable to adoption continues to be the business process changes required to benefit from IoT, and the associated organizational restructuring and retraining those changes entail. IoT protocols and standards continue to proliferate, and (as expected) a growing number of startup offerings have emerged as ‘protocol translators’ or routers between them in an attempt to mitigate risk and single-vendor lock-in. Carriers continue to play a key role in IoT as both the connection between sensors and devices and the systems that transform the data they output into actionable insight. These network operators are still in the process of determining the best place for their strengths and capabilities in the IoT, ranging from operators building physical (or virtual) IoT overlay networks to providing full-service analytics and cloud services. Carriers will have their hands full with the low-power wide area networks (LPWAN)/LTE-M debates in the near term, and outside players continue to propose other WAN connectivity options that keep the door open to market-changing disruption in the space. The impact of the volume of data ingested from sensors and things is just now becoming evident. Different technologies are being employed to triage the data coming from metrics and measures, transaction and diagnostic data. 451 Research divides these technologies into 10 different categories: in-memory databases and databases with an in-memory option; in-memory grid or cache; streaming and log management; edge analytics (often referred to as ‘fog computing’ in the context of IoT); analytics as a service and database as a service (DBaaS); NoSQL and the new breed of relational databases that 451 refers to as ‘NewSQL’ databases; Hadoop and Hadoop-related technologies such as Storm and Spark Streaming; search, data and text mining; data integration; and visualization. Each has a specific impact on ingesting the data streaming from things and transforming it into actionable insights. With the growing number of IoT deployments, we are seeing growth in unit shipments across the spectrum from components from Intel, Samsung, Qualcomm and ARM, to short- and long-range radios, to infrastructure components such as the cost of cloud storage, networks and computing. With the increasing volume (and competition) come lower costs, bringing IoT components within reach of a larger audience of potential adopters. This is definitely a leading indicator, and customer uptake and benefit should trail two to three quarters before the adoption impact becomes evident. Another large barrier to adoption continues to be the real or perceived security exposure that IoT represents to IT/operational technology (OT), with some early IoT security issues in automotive and consumer markets coloring the discussion. The lack of a de facto standard for IoT has resulted in a number of approaches to security, ranging from chip security (Intel, ARM), to gateways (Dell), to more behavioral analysis approaches to monitoring traffic from sensors and embedded systems too lightweight to be able to run their own antivirus software. This is an area we will be monitoring closely over the coming year as the industry unites in its efforts to neutralize the negative press surrounding IoT as a potential weak link in enterprise security by providing infection vector or insertion point.


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