2015: The Year of Cloud & IoT

by June 1, 2015 0 comments

While the IoT may still be in its infancy, within a few years it will be commonplace, giving those looking to take advantage of the next big technological movement little time to get up to speed
– Santhosh D’Souza, Director Systems Engineering, NetApp

The last decade has witnessed tech innovation that dominates any human development unlike anything we have seen before. While complexities of technology continue to evolve with the evolution of technology itself, we have been fairly successful developing mutually complementary solutions that not only address various technological needs but also in turn generate new opportunities.
Two such technologies that have mutually evolved and combined synergistically are cloud and mobile. Without the cloud many of the mobile apps we have today would not exist. These applications rely on the biosphere of powerful cloud-based syncing and storage technology to provide a compelling cross-platform user experience.
But mobile is just the beginning. As processors become ever smaller, cheaper, and more powerful, ‘man’ is trying to incorporate these innovations into objects that were not traditionally “intelligent.” There is considerable benefit to be reaped from adding computational abilities to appliances and everyday items, and equipping them with a connection to the Internet. At a personal level, convenience features, such as fitness monitoring, automotive safety, better financial services offerings, or lower insurance rates are driving adoption from consumers. From a business perspective, the IoT is quite transformative.
Businesses stand to gain most from IoT
Businesses can deliver brand new experiences to customers, which are highly automated due to the nature of the IoT. Customers will often pay more for smart services because of their value-add such as seamless convenience. Since these new services are often highly automated, the IoT offers enticing margin for most businesses. In fact, many industry influencers have predicted that it could bring a significant economic value-add to the global economy in coming years.
Gartner predicts that The Internet of Things (IoT) has a potential transformational effect on the data center market, its customers, technology providers, technologies, sales and marketing models. Gartner estimates that the IoT will include 26 billion units installed by 2020, and by that time, IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services.
When reviewed individually, each aspect of the IoT is not exactly revolutionary. What is different now is that the underlying infrastructure and makeup of the Internet has finally matured enough to handle these billions of devices, thanks to recent technological advances like big data and the cloud.
Both of these technological aspects play a large role in IoT success, and for businesses that are looking to take advantages of these connected devices, mastering the IoT begins with understanding why it is so powerful.
Mature cloud ecosystem to drive IoT
Just as with mobile, the Internet of Things will depend heavily on the cloud for processing power, storage, and interconnectedness. It provides a level of connectivity that was previously impossible for all but the biggest of enterprises, due to the large hardware footprint that was once required for these types of initiatives.
With the growing presence of WiFi and 4G-LTE wireless Internet access, the evolution toward ubiquitous information and communication networks is already evident. However, for the Internet of Things vision to successfully emerge, the computing criterion will need to go beyond traditional mobile computing scenarios that use smart phones and portables, and evolve into connecting everyday existing objects and embedding intelligence into our environment.
The combination of cloud computing and IoT has enabled ubiquitous apps and powerful processing of data streams beyond the capability of individual “things”, through mobile devices. As more devices connect to the Internet, mobile apps are poised to evolve further with the help of IoT, which is bringing with it new experiences customized to a more-connected environment.
In the foreseeable future, it can be suspected that special-purpose clouds and applications will emerge to focus specifically on connecting devices and machines. They’ll gather data quickly, likely streaming off devices with very little structure, as well as performing quick analysis of the data with the ability to instantly respond to the device.
Just as the Internet transformed businesses and lifestyles in the last twenty years, IoT, along with the evolving app environment and cloud support, will transform how organizations do business. While it is complex, and poses some risks, it can help innovate new processes and initiatives to increase an organization’s business performance, and create customer delight with new products and services.

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“Just as the Internet transformed businesses and lifestyles in the last twenty years, IoT, along with the evolving app environment and cloud support, will transform how organizations do business.”

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