3 Things You Need to Know About Cloud & IoT
Every year we hear technology buzzwords used and reused, but more often than not these buzzwords are unsubstantiated and just that: buzz. Over time however; we slowly (though increasingly slow is a relative term) see these innovations mature from concepts to solutions.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a perfect example of a theme that has been used in conversations for some time and is finally reaching widespread adoption in the consumer and business worlds. Just look around you – fitness wristbands, smart thermostats, even beer kegs that tell you how much lager is left – everything that was once a standalone item is gradually becoming interconnected to the world around it. These are just a few examples of the vast, rapidly expanding universe of smart, connected devices that are transforming a wide range of business processes in the Age of IoT.
In fact, Gartner predicts IoT adoption will reach 43 percent in 2016. While much of the early interest in IoT was focused on the “things,” now attention is turning to the cloud processing power needed to realize the IoT vision.
IoT is out of the visionary stage. Given the wide availability of smarter, smaller processors; low-cost sensors; and numerous networking options, it’s fairly easy to get an IoT application up and running. According to IDC, the number of connected devices will more than triple by 2020, hitting 30 billion. That’s a lot of connections! Smart building applications are leading the way, with healthcare, public services, transportation systems, the energy grid, retail/hospitality and many other markets seeing steady growth.
With the rapid emergence of IoT, it can be challenging to understand where and how it fits into an existing cloud infrastructure. So, what do you need to know about cloud and IoT? Here are three key benefits your business can reap when cloud and IoT work together in the enterprise:
- Impact on business processes: Consumer-oriented IoT devices have captured the public’s attention, but the real story of IoT is its impact on business processes. IT decision makers and business leaders should consider how IoT might help with a number of day-to-day business functions, such as optimizing factory production lines and supply chains, beaming targeted advertising to on-the-go consumers, providing situational awareness to first responders in natural disasters, reducing energy consumption, helping doctors make life and death decisions and much more. Innovative enterprises are getting serious about IoT in order to edge ahead of the competition within their respective industries.
- Cloud is the backbone for IoT: Cloud services are “always on” and provide the global accessibility IoT solutions require. As IoT data traffic expands into the zettabyte stratosphere, cloud services can scale and take over functions—processing, storage, etc.—that can’t be handled locally. Cloud is the backbone of IoT and is crucial to enabling the processing of big data being managed and created by organizations. As a result, it’s projected that in the next five years, more than 90 percent of all IoT data will be hosted on cloud service provider platforms.
- IoT and Security: As with any new technology advancement IoT is often met with concerns around security. An IEEE paper identified 20 different IoT security issues, ranging from access control and identity management to protecting sensitive data and preventing denial of service attacks. With so many connected devices, how can businesses ensure each end-point and the networks that connect them are secure? These familiar issues take on a new dimension in IoT. My team always advocates for a layered security approach to safeguard all elements of an IT environment and we continue to work with partners like AlertLogic to provide security cloud environments. In IoT, security is going to be far more contextual and clients will put a premium on cloud providers with the resources and expertise to adapt to this new world.
With a better understanding of the relationship between IoT and cloud, it’s important to match IoT applications with the right cloud provider. Choosing the right cloud provider is very much dependent on the type of IoT solutions within your business that require support. Some IoT use cases involve devices that continually send and receive data, while others leverage devices that need just an occasional connection and transfer relatively small amounts of data. These variables will have a significant impact on the capacity required and on how the provider’s pricing is structured.
When selecting a cloud provider be sure to consider these key factors, as well as IoT reliability needs, hosting requirements and applications expertise. IoT is a major catalyst for business innovation, and the good news is cloud is primed to support the connected world of tomorrow.
To learn more about cloud and IoT download this quick tips guide, 7 Things to Know about Cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).