Internet of Things: for Business and Beyond (2/2)

This blog originally appeared on Sogeti’s technology trendlab called ViNT – Vision Inspiration Navigating Trends

Most of the things we use are physical objects. Internet of Things is about connecting these physical objects to the digital. This creates new oppurtunities if one can integrate IoT as part of a business strategy. Here’s why you should.

Also read part one: “The need of Things” & all slides: “The need of Things” – Internet of Things: For Business and Beyond.

Anatomy of Things (The Anatomy Of The Internet Of Things)

Anatomy as in structure and identification. Internet of Things can be described with three pillars. Three pillars that are needed to make IoT happen.

1.     Hardware

Hardware is becoming less expensive. Information has become more accessible. In short: “making technology happen” has become something accessible these days. Hardware, basically is the key to this technology. Arduino is a supplier in hardware for example. For less than € 80,- you have a starter kit. Other names in hardware are (among a lot of others) Spark, Pengate, BolT and Mosoro.

2.     Wireless connectivity

To send real time information about internal states or external environments of objects connectivity is needed. To give a small overview of connectivity possibilities: Near field (NFC), Body (BAN), Personal (PAN), Near-me (NAN), Local (LAN), Home (HAN), Campus (CAN), Backbone, Metropolitan (MAN), Wide (WAN).

3.     Infrastructure

a.     Horizontals

We need platforms that connect all these new products and services. Horizontals are platforms to be plugged into. The platform can then collect and analyse the generated data. Known players in the ‘horizontal’ world are: IFTT, Symplio, IoBridge and Thingworx.

b.     Verticals

Verticals are the applications of the IoT. Verticals are dividing in different categories as: Quantified Self, Lifestyle, Connected Home, Industries, Industrial Internet and so on. Some known applications are: Pebble, Jawbone, Withings, Smartthings, NinjaBlocks, Nest, Wemo and Belkin Echo.

The core of Things

Just as simple as Kevin Ashton thought in his days as Brand Manager at P&G back in 1999: There is a lack of information!”. All these new data points deliver new types or extra information to a decision making process. With ‘things’ you can fill the information gabs in your organization.Analyzed properly, this data should enhance the process. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”

And isn’t that the core of Internet of Things?

Give me a little data…

Think about how connected objects and devices can support your business processes and how you can compete with the right insights with your competitors. IoT will be Business Intelligence on steroids. Make sure you are ready for it. To close off with Darrell Smith, Director of Facilities and Energy at Microsoft:

“Give me a little data and I’ll tell you a little. Give me a lot of data and I’ll save the world.”

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