Cisco and IBM’s new Internet of Things (IoT) partnership promises to undo a customer perception logjam by endorsing the concept of edge analytics or processing, analysing and acting on IoT data close to the devices and/or sensors at the network “edge.”
As reported by ARN, the tech giants have worked out how to run components of IBM’s Watson IoT analytics on Cisco edge devices, essentially bringing more intelligence closer to where the action is.
For customers, it promises to alleviate the past IoT conundrum of “where to start with analytics” but in short, the companies’ message is clear, “you can have it both ways.”
“The integration greatly improves IBM’s and Cisco’s analytics offerings, strengthens both companies’ IoT strategies, and promises to increase their respective IoT revenues,” Technology Business Research Principal Analyst, Ezra Gottheil, said.
“The agreement does these things by simplifying the construction of IoT solutions that integrate the capabilities of both companies; company spokespeople have said their 25,000 mutual customers had been asking for that capability.”
Gottheil said much of the excitement about IoT in 2015 was about extracting value from the big data IoT generates, with IBM at the forefront of generating that excitement.
“Vendor companies emphasised strategic transformation of companies implementing IoT,” Gottheil said.
“What IBM and other vendors pursuing big IoT have found over the last year, however, is that customers see IoT as strategic but are hesitant to commit to large-scale IoT projects.”
For Gottheil, customers interested in strategic transformational IoT projects often experiment with proofs of concept or tactical implementations as they evaluate their commitments to big IoT.
But this is a costly and time-consuming process for vendors and has resulted in slower growth rates in IoT than expected originally.
“Customers see edge-based IoT as safer, with greater assurance of a more rapidly realised ROI,” Gottheil added.
“The problem with strategic IoT based on centralised analysis is that the cost of big IoT is large and the benefit is less certain than that for little IoT.
“The benefit is based on the insights generated by centralised big data analytics, and the value of those insights cannot be known until they are generated and used.”
With little IoT, Gottheil said the ROI may be more modest, but it can be estimated with more confidence and because of the lower cost of little IoT, the risk is smaller.
With this announcement, Gottheil said IBM is able to offer its customers a “smooth path” between edge-based IoT and centralised big IoT.
“At the same time, the performance of analysis at the edge reduces the cost of centralised analysis by reducing the amount of data transmitted, stored and processed,” Gottheil explained.
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