by June 17, 2014 0 comments

Over the last decade, we have seen the transition from connected computers to connected smartphones and now to connected devices. This wave of technology evolution, called the Machine to Machine (M2M) or broadly the Internet of Things (IoT) is where intelligent devices communicate with their surrounding ecosystem (humans, machines, applications, or other smart devices). Analysts estimate that we will have over 50 billion M2M devices by the end of the decade. They will outnumber mobile phones and personal computers combined. Cheaper, more-powerful devices, faster LTE speeds and low-cost mobile network connectivity will drive this explosion in connected devices and the data generated by them. We are already beginning to see the transition.

Challenges & solutions
While business opportunities are immense, the M2M ecosystem also presents considerable challenges for an enterprise. According to a survey conducted by Beecham Research for Oracle, the top three priorities when delivering M2M projects are:

Coordinating with partners in the value chain
The M2M value chain can be extremely complex. It involves multiple stakeholders – from sensing devices and gateway manufacturers to network equipment providers, from telecommunications operators to independent software vendors, system integrators and many more. In this context device-based development has been highly fragmented. The companies first choose the components that will go into a device and then write the software in native code. As a result, considerations about interoperability or reusability of the code for other applications are not taken into account.
The issue can be addressed by using platform-agnostic programming language like Java. Its “write once, run anywhere” history, allows developers to quickly get started and reuse the code across devices.

Integrating with IT systems
Effective M2M communication typically requires a number of key components: smart devices, gateways, networks and enterprise applications. It is important to ensure the data flows seamlessly between these components and that it is integrated with existing enterprise applications to quickly add real-time data capabilities. Besides, adding a large amount of connected devices results in a significant amount of Big Data. This voluminous data needs to be collected, stored, processed, and analysed to understand operational bottlenecks and improve customer experience.

Ensuring end-to-end security
Regulatory compliance and data privacy requirements will mandate service providers to ensure confidentiality of customer information, 24×7 availability of service and integrity of data (ensuring the data is not being messed up). Enterprises can ensure this by adopting a comprehensive, integrated security solution that enable data security and role-based access control, across devices and data centres.

Industry research suggests that the India opportunity for IoT will reach USD 98.38 million by 2016. The business will be driven by healthcare, utilities and automotive industry.

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