Understanding Internet of Things IoT marketplace

The Internet of Things has great promise and is transforming businesses overnight. As General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Immelt put it recently at Dell EMC World, “Yesterday we went to bed an industrial company and today we woke up as a software company.”
But with that promise comes great peril as well. Connected devices to the Internet, also known as Internet of Things, can be easily hacked, as we saw last week when hackers marshaled millions of devices such as webcams for a global Distributed Denial of Service attack.  This caused most of the Internet to go down, including popular sites such as Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify, Netflix, Reddit and PayPal.

In short, Internet of Things devices are allowing anyone to create new attack vectors with zero accountability for companies to make the devices secure. Houston, we have a problem!

New IoT devices are showing a huge weakness in IT departments’ networks and software. This is scaring the heck out of corporate information technology departments and new security practices take time, money and qualified people to manage.

Big companies are stepping up.  This week at IBM Corp.’s World of Watson show, the company is putting its weight behind big data to drive into the IoT marketplace. So are lots of competitors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Corp. and a slew of new startups.

In hopes of making more sense of the IoT landscape, Wikibon Research published a recent reporting breaking down the key segments and how to deal with IoT data.

Segments of the IoT market

Personal IoT

Smart phones, smart ­cars, entertainment, location, travel, wearables, etc.

Home IoT

Smart meters, security and access control, smart appliances, health & safety, etc.

Government IoT

Federal, state & local government: criminal justice, internal security, traffic management, emergency response, etc.

Health IoT

Smart equipment, home health, electronic medical records, provider and payor applications,  etc.

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Small Business IoT

Asset management, smart retail, customer management, inventory, security, health & safety, etc.

Office IoT

Building management: security and access control, equipment management, utilities management, maintenance, etc.

Industrial IoT

Plant operations, equipment maintenance (predictive and preventive), vehicle and fleet management (aircraft, trucks, shipping, trains, etc.), warehouse operations and inventory management, site health & safety, security and access control, etc.

Action items

It will be very difficult to justify Big Data projects if all the data is extracted and sent to clouds. The cost and elapsed time for data transmission is likely to be prohibitive, and the results delayed and reduced in value. The optimum strategy is to use distributed data analytics in data center, and extract small amounts of data for further analysis in the cloud. Individual projects can also turn on specific filters to save additional data at the edge for processing and transmission of results.

Digital business goals require greater cooperation and coordination of modern IT and operations technologies and organizations. To extract the maximum value from edge data, it will need to be streamed, reduced and processed locally. Edge projects should focus primarily on giving value to the edge business processes. Extracts of data can be processed and delivered to upstream parties who pay for it, subject to careful review. In short, big data projects should be designed with distributed edge analytics combined with hybrid cloud services.

Chart provided by Wikibon

John Furrier

John Furrier is founder, co-CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of SiliconANGLE, a new media company covering the intersection of computer science and social science. Furrier is also the co-founder and CEO of CrowdChat a social media platform for large-scale group conversations over hashtags. In addition to SiliconANGLE John runs Broadband Developments a private incubator and investment firm for creating new startups. Furrier lives in Palo Alto, California with his wife and four children.

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