Since its emergence, the Internet of Things (IoT) has grown in popularity at a rate similar to the personal computer, smart phone and other transformative technologies. For example, according to Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index, machine-to-machine (M2M) connections will account for more than 50 percent of the world’s 28.5 billion connected devices by 2022.
Yet, many enterprises still experience difficulties developing, commercializing and scaling IoT applications. When we ask our customers what obstacles are causing this, we hear the same thing over and over again – “complexity.” In particular, enterprises find it so difficult to integrate all the different elements required for an IoT application – devices, networks, external data sources, internal databases, cloud-based data, business applications, etc. – that many promising projects are never started and many that do start fail to be fully implemented or reach their potential.
In 2019, we will begin to see a turning point that will erode these complexity barriers that have hindered the growth of the IoT. Specifically, we will see the emergence of device-to-cloud (D2C) IoT solutions, such as Sierra Wireless’s Octave, that use distributed data orchestration to radically simplify IoT infrastructure in the same way that cloud services did for IT infrastructure. Octave will enable the delivery of the IoT devices, wireless connectivity, cloud-based network management, distributed processing, data orchestration and security needed to deploy best-in-class IoT applications. With it, enterprises will have a single, tightly integrated, easy-to-deploy, use and scale IoT solution that supports simple, transparent business models.
The Amazonification of the IoT
In this way, the IoT sector will emulate the IT sector – in particular, the emergence of cloud services. Over the past decade, technology innovations, such as virtualization and exponential improvements in processing and network capacity, have enabled companies like Amazon Web Services to deliver cloud services that radically simplify IT infrastructure. With storage, networking and computing provided as a service that is extremely easy to deploy, use and scale, the cloud enables enterprises to focus on applications that benefit the business instead of on sourcing, integrating and managing IT infrastructure. Enterprises can build and enhance their own applications, subscribe to easy-to-consume, pre-packaged applications that don’t need to be built or deployed, and analyze or activate data faster and with fewer resources than ever before.
This agility means enterprises can more quickly and easily digitally transform their businesses in ways that break down data silos, streamline end-to-end business processes and rethink their business models to deliver new and more types of value to their customers. The cloud has also enabled numerous successful startups to begin with modest expenses and cost-effectively scale with extreme rapidity.
The same Amazonification that has occurred in the world of IT will soon come to the IoT. D2C IoT solutions will use distributed data orchestration to radically simplify IoT infrastructure in the same way that cloud services simplified IT infrastructure. Enterprises will have a single, tightly integrated D2C platform for deploying the IoT devices, wireless connectivity, cloud-based network management, security and other infrastructure needed to build and deploy IoT solutions, so they no longer need to be wireless or embedded experts to gain access to their IoT data.
For example, Sierra Wireless’s new Octave D2C data orchestration platform provides all the components needed for distributed IoT connectivity — LPWA edge processing, cloud processing, end-to-end security and wireless connectivity anywhere in the world. It allows enterprises to change edge device rules and configurations as easily and frequently as they would in the cloud, optimize back-end code after an IoT application is deployed and update or enhance a solution as business needs change. With D2C data orchestration solutions like Octave, enterprises will no longer face the complexity of building, integrating and managing their own IoT infrastructure, just as they no longer build, integrate and manage their IT infrastructure.
D2C data orchestration solutions such as Octave will provide enterprises with the agility they need to exponentially reduce the time, expense and complexity associated with developing, deploying, managing, scaling, updating and enhancing IoT applications and activating IoT data. Perhaps most importantly, they will move the IoT conversation from technology to data, which is the reason for launching IoT projects in the first place. As a result, the IoT will not just continue to grow, but will also soon become one of the foundational strategies enterprises use to realize their digital transformation goals and create and deliver more value to their customers.
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