|By Bob Gourley||
|November 7, 2015 11:00 AM EST||
Why Big Data and the Internet of Things Are a Match Made in Heaven
By William Hayles
There’s a closer relationship between big data and the IoT than most people realize – almost as if they were made for one another. See for yourself.
Today, we’re going to talk about the Internet of Things and Big Data.
Bear with me here. This isn’t going to be some vague, half-cocked article bogged down by buzzwords and vagaries. Instead, what we’re going to do is take a close look at both technologies - what they actually are and what they actually do - in regards to how they’re changing enterprise.
More importantly, we’re going to put forth an explanation of how inextricably the two are connected - and how, by understanding that connection, one’s business can set itself well ahead of the competition. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Let’s dive right in.
We’ll start by dispelling some of the mysticism and hearsay surrounding the Internet of Things.
What Exactly IS The Internet of Things?
Chances are pretty good you’ve heard the term at least once, right? You’ve probably heard at least one journalist - who may or may not have understood any of the jargon - rambling about how IoT stands ready to revolutionize enterprise. About how it’ll help businesses paint a more complete picture of their operations, employees, and consumers.
In short, you’ve heard a lot of talk about what it can do - but not necessarily a great deal about what it is.
Believe it or not, IoT is, at its core, a fairly simple concept. Basically, what it boils down to is that we’re making our products smarter. We’re embedding Internet-enabled computer chips and sensors in products and devices which traditionally had little to no computing capacity - everything from watches to car engines to generators.
Those embedded chips tend to be a little bit more limited than your run-of-the-mill PC or mobile device; usually, they’re used primarily for data-gathering, offering an enterprise details on everything from how efficiently their machines are running to the purchasing habits of their consumers. Not surprisingly, this is forcing something of a revolution in terms of Enterprise IT - both in terms of consumer products and in terms of internal technology.
“Smart, connected products require that companies build an entirely new technology infrastructure, consisting of a series of layers known as a ‘technology stack,’” explains Michael E. Porter of the Harvard Business Review. “This includes modified hardware, software applications, and an operating system embedded into the product itself; network communications to support connectivity; and a product cloud containing the product-driven database, a platform for building software applications, a rules engine and analytics platform, and smart product applications that are not embedded in the product.”
“Cutting across all the layers,” he continues, “is an identity and security structure, a gateway for accessing internal data, and tools that connect the data from smart, connected products to other business systems.”
Yeah. There’s a reason more enterprises aren’t already tapping into IoT. At this moment in time, to gain any value from the technology would require resources which all but the largest of enterprises are incapable of providing.
Still, there’s a great deal of value to be had from connected products - Porter lists control, optimization, monitoring, and autonomy as just a few of the things the IoT is capable of providing. He goes on to establish that the trend, once it gains further prominence, will serve to significantly increase the bargaining power of both suppliers and buyers, while driving competition to an all-time high.
The benefits within enterprise are just as compelling.
"IoT technologies allow for real-time and accurate data sensing and wireless transmission of that data to Web applications and servers connected to the Internet," explains Mindtree researcher Ronak Sutaria, talking to Infoworld. "This leads to a more precise and accurate monitoring and control of physical systems."
In other words, it’s going to change the market in the same way as every truly disruptive technology before it - those who can adapt to it will thrive, and those who can’t, well…
I’m sure you can figure that one out.
How IoT Will Drive Big Data Adoption
As I’m certain most of you have already surmised, the significant increase in connected devices that’s due to happen at the hands of the Internet of Things will, in turn, lead to an exponential increase in the data that an enterprise is required to manage. Here’s where IoT intersects wonderfully with big data - and where it becomes evident that the two trends fit one another like a glove.
“Once the Internet of things gets rolling, stand back,” warns Howard Baldwin, writing for Forbes. “We’re going to have data spewing at us from all directions - from appliances, from machinery, from train tracks, from shipping containers, from power stations. If that doesn’t get you thinking how to handle real-time data feeds, nothing will.”
“But here’s a suggestion,” he adds. “Start now.”
Fact is; the Internet of Things is still very much a nascent trend - it’s still in its infancy. It hasn’t started to produce an overwhelming deluge of information. But that doesn’t mean it won’t.
Big data, on the other hand, has been around for a while; long enough that it’s starting to come into its own. Analytics tools designed to handle large, fast-changing volumes of information are gradually becoming accessible to small and midsized organizations, while data science is looked upon as a legitimate - and highly-valued- field of study. In short, for most businesses, the timing has never been better to look into the adoption of a big data strategy.
“The Internet of Things will lead to an unimaginable explosion of data,” reads a piece on Big Think. “Listening to that data, making sense of it, and effectively acting on that information will be essential, and this massive shift that’s underway will no doubt help businesses do just that.”
The Internet of Things is still a relatively new concept. While larger enterprises like Coca-Cola, General Electric, and Domino’s Pizza have managed to tap into its value, most businesses will have to wait some time before they can really enjoy the advantages of embedded sensor technology. In the meantime, it’s imperative that those businesses prepare by adopting a big data strategy - and looking into analytics technology.
Big data capacity is, in essence, a prerequisite to tapping into the Internet of Things. Without the proper data-gathering in place, it’ll be impossible for businesses to sort through all the information flowing in from embedded sensors. What that means is that, without big data, the Internet of Things can offer an enterprise little more than noise.
About William - Will Hayles is a technical writer and blogger for Outscale, a leading cloud hosting provider in the USA and France.
The post Why Big Data And The Internet of Things Are A Match Made In Heaven appeared first on CTOvision.com.
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