This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.
Smartphones, smart cities, smart cars or even smart toothbrushes, smart technologies are finding their way into everyday things around us. The promise of ambient computing-electronic environments that are sensitive and responsive to the presence of people-is a powerful concept, which was once the stuff of science fiction, but is almost within our reach now.
In fact, such is the advancement in this area that there are now more smart "things" than people. Innovative companies are adopting the Internet of Things (IoT) strategy and technology to rethink their products and services and redefine their relationships with customers, employees and partners. With the number of connected devices estimated to jump to a whopping 50 billion by the year 2020, IoT technologies are expected to unlock $14.4 trillion in value.
Collectively, the power of these technologies can be harnessed for businesses to save costs by improving operations and eliminating inefficiencies. The opportunities unleashed by smart products are seemingly limitless. Companies seeking game-changing innovation or new levels of efficiencies need to quickly embrace IoT in order to stay abreast of the accelerating IoT market.
Smart products not only provide reams of insight into product usage and status across the value chain if properly instrumented and personalised, but also enable continuous product improvements and influence strategic moves into connected markets.
However, building and outfitting IT environments with cloud‑connected, data‑transmitting and self‑aware electronics is only a part of the deal. For ambient intelligence to really work, smart devices, smart rooms and the smart things inside them need to speak a common language. Many organisations still face a road-bump as they await universal standardisation and regulatory bodies to make IoT a reality.
Is there an alternative to the waiting game? What can organisations do to beat competition?
Understanding the challenge
Let's take a step back and understand the challenge. The issues we face lie in the multitude of languages, protocols and standards, as well as the lack of agreement between each layer of the IoT. This is akin to having too many enterprising cooks in the kitchen, whether proprietary or open source in their approach.
Trying to achieve an industry‑wide acceptance of one unified standard might be a wild goose chase, even though this is not the best scenario for users across the extended enterprise. For instance, an organisation might plan a framework best suited to its needs and then choose one of multiple standards to best satisfy that need, whether it is an enterprise platform from Axeda, Thingworx or Predix or a competing open source alternative.
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