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Don´t wait to be the last adopter of the Internet of Things

By: Francisco Fernandes, Solutions Architect, Hewlett Packard Company (Brazil)

 

Wearable computing sign.jpgYou opened the door for the Internet of Things (see my last blog) and greet the opportunities. You started to think about different ways to innovate, to incorporate that new concept into your products and services. Or you might have thought that this wouldn´t apply to your business today; or maybe your business can´t handle the infrastructure and tecnology needed to operationalize an IoT solution.

 

Adopting the IoT

While this may sound like a road block for the IoT, it actually represents the current stage of IoT adoption. Perhaps you feel stuck.  You have an idea for a product that would make it come “alive” but you can´t resolve all requirements from an end-to-end perspective. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. There is a very thin line between the whole IoT concept and what can really be done today. The concept is very broad and will evolve and develop in different ways over time. We as citizens will experience a level of automation in our daily lives that might remind us movies like The Terminator and others that imagine a new world full of robots, driverless cars, etc.  It’s true, for example, that driverless cars are not yet in the streets, but we have already seen experiments in this area. The future might be closer than we think.  

 

Let´s look at a real example. HP has one of the largest IoT networks with wireless printers. Printers are things, with intelligence and access to the internet to allow some cool functionality like remote and wireless printing. Looking at electronic devices that already exist is a good first step to design an IoT solution.  Add connection to the internet (or to a private network), software to handle everything locally, some sensors (movement, gesture, pressure, voice recognition, etc.) and you have a new connected “thing.”  But that is just one side of the story.

 

The other side of the story

Here is where brilliant minds come into play. You´ve already heard many different examples of IoT solutions, bringing to life a whole bunch of ”things.” But how about your buisness – can you seize the opportunity? Now? Let´s see.

 

In the end, an IoT solution looks for data generation – data that matters and will allow actions to be taken, thus generating results. If you run in the morning to stay fit, you probably use one of the applications that measures and tracks your run. Most of those apps are relying on the same sensors available in a smartphone or embedded in wrist bands or on your shoes. In this case, a lot of data is generated relating to your performance, calorie consumption, etc. Today, your smartphone is “alive”, consuming data generated by sensors, allowing you to take actions. But what if your shoes were also “alive” today? What if other types of sensors were embedded in them and could generate other types of data such as the way you step on the ground, the wear on the soles and suggest adjustments to improve the way you run and walk?   And what if the manufacturer could personalize the shoe specifically to you?

 

The sensors to measure what we just described may already exist, but have not yet been used in this way. How can the shoe manufacturer get the data from your shoes – or from all shoes? How can the sensors stay functional for many years? How can you benefit from that? That is just one example of the challenges that IoT represents - and the opportunities for your business to innovate and add value to your customers.

 

If you were the shoe manufacturer, would you be prepared for the flood of data or to plug tons of different things alive to your applications? Cloud, Mobility, Security and Big Data are drivers for a new style of IT. The Internet of Things is a big impedus to those drivers, and should make you think carefully about your IT strategy going forward.

 

IoT and the new style of IT

Whether or not your IoT solution is easy to implement, one thing should be addressed immediately: your IT needs to be prepared for a flood of new “things” that will require scalability, storage and processing power from your infrastructure.  It will require the ability to process and analyse large amounts of data, easy ways to connect new things to your systems and provide seamless integration between your traditional applications and your IoT solutions. Your IoT solutions require a new style of IT.

 

Previous blogs by Francisco Fernandes:

 

 

Related links: 

 

About the author

 

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Francisco Fernandes, Solution Architect, Hewlett Packard Company (Brazil)

Francisco is a solutions architect and an applications modernization expert with more than 20 years of experience working on applications in multiple industries including banking, financial services, telecom, media & entertainment and healthcare. He joined HP in 2002 and is located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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About the Author
Solutions Architect working at HP since 2002 with focus on Applications Modernization, located at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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