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Winning with the Internet of Things

Pankaj Sharma, Vice President Asia Pacific & Japan, Schneider Electric IT Business | March 3, 2016
The reality is that the Internet of Things is here to stay and will continue to evolve, providing both challenges and opportunities for businesses.

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.

Impact of the growth of the Internet of Things

Over the last few years, businesses have been frontline witnesses to how the Internet of Things (IoT) has transformed the way the global economy functions. IoT has been embedded into almost everything we do, whether it is urban transport, medical devices, automobiles, or household appliances. Terabytes of data are being created, analysed and stored in data centers around the world.

This rapid growth of IoT is can be attributed to a variety of industry developments such as:

  • Decreasing cost of sensors, embedded systems and devices - Expanding global markets and economies of scale has resulted in more economical sensors, embedded systems and devices. For example, the cost of an RFID identification tag fell by 40% to 10 cents last year.
  • Growing range of connectivity options - Multiple standards-based wireless technologies are driving low cost wireless connectivity options and new internet protocols now makes it possible to connect billions of physical objects to the internet.
  • Pervasiveness of mobile devices - The growing availability of cheap, connected mobile devices, along with the rising affluence of consumers in Asia has resulted in an exponential increase in mobile device usage in Asia. In 2015, China accounted for 1.0 billion mobile phone users in Asia-Pacific.

Clear and present challenges

As a result of the ubiquity of IoT, the digital universe is doubling in size every two years and will multiply 10-fold between 2013 and 2020 - from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion gigabytes.

Traditional data center infrastructures, as well as data management and analysis tools, were not built to handle the volume of complex structured and unstructured data that is being generated by connected devices.  According to Gartner, data volume is set to grow 800% over the next 5 years and 80% of it will reside as unstructured data that will require more IT engineering and hardware resources.

The massive amounts of data generated has also resulted in new challenges for IT decision makers. CIOs now need to consider how they can securely transmit and store data while aligning with the strategies of stakeholders from the other business units within their organisations.

Worries on the ground

The unbridled growth in data worries not only IT decision makers, it poses serious concerns for Data Centre Managers (DCMs) as well. Now more than ever, DCMs are under pressure to increase performance consistency across applications and reliability through integrated solutions.

The biggest obstacle to DCMs is expectations for them to constantly increase bandwidth and decrease latency. According to Gartner, 39 million terabytes of storage is being used globally today. By 2019 that total will hit 89 million terabytes.  Network bandwidth has to grow a whopping 35% per annum simply to keep up. It becomes increasingly challenging for DCMs to meet their KPIs of decreasing latency when network bandwidth continues to grow at such rates.  


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