IoT: The New Normal

May 21, 2015 Rahul Awasthy

sfeatured-IOTApple introduced the iPhone in January 2007 spawning a mobile revolution that influences every aspect of technology and our lives. Eight years later, mobile has transitioned from simply “new” to the new normal. As time spent on mobile devices exceeds desktops, Mobile is no longer just a trend but has become a part of every enterprise IT strategy.

Smartphones changed how we live, but Internet of Things (IoT) will be orders of magnitude more pervasive, redraw industry boundaries and create a new wave of disruptive companies. Most of these will come from the Industrial internet, that powers two thirds of global GDP. GE Software calls this the Internet of (Really Important) Things at the recent Cloud Foundry Summit talk.

At Pivotal, we see this IoT journey to the new normal made possible by the mobile revolution, inexpensive sensors and the falling cost of compute and storage resources. In aggregate, these trends provide the ability to analyze (and react to) very large amounts of information in real time. Sharing our observations, Silicon Valley guru Tim O’Reilly argues that collectively we are underestimating the impact of IoT, citing its potential to disrupt age old industries like healthcare.

Last year, Gartner placed IoT firmly at the peak of the hype cycle for emerging technologies. At what point does a technology transition to the new normal?

To answer that question, let’s ask another one: What does IoT mean?

For an IT enterprise, it depends who you ask:

  • Operational Efficiency
  • New Revenue Opportunities
  • Predicitive Analytics
  • Industrial and Consumer Apps

IT Operations
  • Device Management and Orchestration
  • Lack of standards and security gaps
  • Data Center Operations
  • Supporting diverse, unproven technology stacks
  • IoT API’s
  • Data Science
  • Real-time event & stream processing
  • Common Data Models
  • Security
  • Return on IoT investments
  • Build vs. Buy
  • Data as currency

Why IoT Demands A New Platform

There are 3 main reasons IoT demands a new platform: Volume, Scale, and Speed.

Volume: Managing many things is hard. Managing many things without standard data-models, protocols or device interoperability is untenable.

Scale: Auto scaling of resources that underpin an IoT platform is important not only to address high variability system loads, but also to expose resource costs and allow control over consumption.

Speed: Ability to analyze data-streams, enable two-way operations and push updates in a continuous manner are necessary for security and reliability of a platform.

The ultimate goal of an IoT platform is to enable customers to rapidly build apps that create a desired outcome without worrying about the undifferentiated heavy-lifting of running them.

What An IoT Platform Enables

At Pivotal, we believe a platform should facilitate app-development velocity and address operational concerns, so users can answer the simple question—Can I build my custom app that adds revenue or subtracts costs from my business? What platform can safely run this App at scale and with speed?

Our connected car demo solves for a predictive analytics scenario. Using sensor data and machine learning algorithms, the application predicts a driver’s destination, computes gas consumption and can route to the nearest gas station. Data sources can be added to improve mileage and maintenance and even get a better deal on car insurance.

Autonomous cars maybe a decade away but we expect a near-term scenario where your car exchanges information with nearby vehicles, self-parks and feeds the meter, schedules maintenance & repair appointments, downloads manufacturer updates and shops for the best insurance deal. Some of these are operational today.

We see rapid innovations using IoT patterns in fleet management, fire and safety alarm systems, manufacturing plant operations and more. All these examples are solving for the same desired business outcome—Operational Efficiency.

IoT’s transition from current hype to the new normal is under way. Along that journey, we will address concerns such as Data Governance, API Management, Data Science, Device Control, Security Patterns, Machine Learning, Stream Processing and more. These are hard problems to solve but we believe enterprise adoption of IoT will accelerate with complete solutions rather than point products.

Find out more about Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Pivotal Big Data

About the Author


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