Internet of Things : The ecosystem of technologies


IoT is an ecosystem

The Internet of things story is quite a rage among those who understand it in its current equation, as well as those who are still figuring it out. By the looks of it, the promise of its value proposition has the potential to force people to choose between a radical belief system where one side looks at the bright side of the future we have started to live today, and the other reserve a very cautious view.

To me, IoT exemplifies evolution; of things and mankind alike. Things get more intelligent, mankind benefits from that intelligence. Sure, new security issues will keep arising, but we will reserve security for another day.

IoT in its singularity, is a web of connected objects, some capable of sensing its environment and feeding back to its web of connected objects for action or reaction through manual intervention or intelligence fed in the web.

In order to make these objects work for us, there is a whole bunch of technologies and systems that must work in absolute synchronization in the backend. So, the power of an IoT solution is realized by the eco system it is operating in. Broadly, there are four modules that can be stretched to six, if the extended family technologies are considered in the IoT eco system;

  1. Things, as the electronic chips/devices are fondly called

  2. Connectivity network

  3. Things Management platform

  4. Application

  5. Data Collection and storage

  6. Data Contextualization

Each module offers an extensive range of options to choose from, and amidst early adoption stage of the concept of the Internet of things, this might not always be a good thing. It takes a very seasoned expert to parse through the permutations and combinations of the various options available within each of the modules to create the IoT eco system that works for you, and the problem at hand. While some markets are more advanced than the others, everybody is experimenting in this field, and even the experts are observing the implementations of IoT solutions across industries. End of the day, customers need services and solutions that can yield a better tomorrow for them. In other words, it’s the end result that matters and not the means, as consumers of these IoT solutions go by the singularity of the IoT definition.

The promise of IoT is too hard to ignore. It opens up new avenues of services, business models, revenues and optimizations. The possibilities are limitless, and people are still in the discovery mode. A vendor could stop selling air conditioners and start selling cooling as a service with a subscription based business model. Annual maintenance services could reach new rates of customer satisfaction and delight. Billings could be automated, routes could be optimized, services can become more effective, energy management can become more efficient, cities can be safer, and what not!

These are times when every new technology promises to be path breaking. And with more and more technologies lining up for adoption at a rate far beyond what the IT eco system can digest and embrace, some marvels are lost in translations, if you know what I mean. But IoT is here to stay, as it’s not a technology, but an ecosystem of technologies that work in harmony. In a very strange way, IoT has given a sense of purpose to a lot of technologies and dependent solutions, and a reason to be even more relevant in today’s market. Take big data, machine learning for instance; these technologies find more use cases inside IoT than otherwise.

Every technology comes with a shortcoming that is addressed in some other. While it may be daunting to understand all that’s out there in the name of IoT, taking baby steps towards understanding this new realm of reality is in one’s own best interests.

#IoT #ecosystem

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