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Businesses Need to Prepare for the 'Internet of Things'

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)? Today’s refrigerators, smart utility meters, fitness trackers, motion detector security cameras, embedded systems, medical devices, GPS, and smoke detectors all attach to the Internet. Each one of these IoT devices requires connection to store and process data. Many devices are connected locally while others connect to the cloud. This means that each device needs to have scalability and application elasticity to adapt to the different workloads.

Soon all sensors and other network-connected gadgets will become part of the IoT and will need to be supported. Therefore, the company’s network design will have to adapt to become more application centric. IoT is becoming a quantum revolution in how we handle and think about the application data activity. Soon, health care, manufacturing, consumer electronics, and automotive industry will need to prepare for IoT. How will your enterprise handle the application onslaught that’s coming soon?

How your enterprise can prepare for IoT.

1. Prepare your IT department for the revelation of IoT.

Today all we hear is about is IoT and what the future holds for businesses. Soon your refrigerator will tell you when to buy milk. But the IoT is much larger than this. By the year 2020 it is predicted that IoT will benefit the economy by $1.9 trillion, and the number of connected devices will reach 26 billion. Therefore, your enterprise will need to prepare now to handle the growth of data. It is predicted that data will grow 14x by 2020.

2. Why is IoT different?

IoT encompasses specialized devices that need a network connection without human-accessible interface. Therefore, beyond the human-centric world, IoT extends the end node. IoT growing needs call for real-time scalability that can handle dynamic traffic bursts. IoT requires networks to handle low-bandwidth small data streams or high-bandwidth streams. IoT also requires encryption of the data over the network.

3. Hospital IoT connected networks.

Hospital devices will soon be interconnected through secure networks that have service-based applications that can track patient conditions. IoT allows hospitals and other medical facilities to correlate all data which give them better monitoring, Big Data analytics, and data logging. Soon medical staff can focus on patient care based on deterministic information obtained through IoT.

4. IoT in your home and office.

IoT allows centralized systems to provide real-time monitoring from utility meters that send complex data packets to the network. IoT can help stop blackouts, notify you of water leaks, immediate problems, and control circuit-overloads. IoT helps the industry improve efficiency by determining needs, predicting demands, and spotting trends.

5. IoT in factories and warehouses.

In businesses the flow of material must be monitored and optimized. Factories use location sensors in components moving through assembly lines. Businesses now can track the location of their forklifts, employees, and pallets. IoT uses centralized software to help companies direct and redirect their activities in real-time. Therefore, companies can effectively respond to customers needs.

6. Wearable IoT devices.

Wearables are the public face of IoT. They include step-counting Smartphone apps and heartbeat-sensing fitness bands. All portable devices are connected to the network service that aggregates the data. The service shares the data across social media, with gyms, and doctors. The IoT cloud-based service locates maps, displays motivational graphics, and music.

Today, IoT system designers need to plan for and manage any quantity of data that comes into their network in unpredictable bursts. The network can’t drop packets, overload, or put overwhelming stress on the servers. Therefore, networks need to accommodate the BI analytics software necessary to make sense of the data in real-time. The new IoT applications can have millions of participating devices uploading data to the networks. 

Image: flickr.com

Julie Sinclair

Julie Sinclair

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