You’ve probably heard or read the term “Internet of things” a lot lately. Basically, it means a world in which everyday objects like coffeemakers and pens are connected to the Internet allowing everything we interact with to send and receive data.
Not long ago the concept of an Internet of Things (IoT) seemed like something out of science fiction. But today, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, the increased availability of Broadband Internet, the wide-scale production of Wi-Fi enabled devices with built-in sensors, and the advent of operating systems such as cloud spark that simplify the device connectivity process, the Internet of Things has arrived. And this vast and growing network of connected things is transforming how we live, work, and interact.
Experts predict that by the year 2020, up to 100 billion devices could be connected to the Internet. This represents vast opportunities for businesses that can successfully leverage the power of the IoT. However, as many organizations are discovering, that task is easier said than done. You can put all sorts of “smart” objects in place, but it doesn’t matter if they aren’t working together. Businesses often find themselves to add the latest tech, leaving the workforce puzzled as to what their supposed to do with all this information.
How can you make this new world of tech work for you?
Begin with the end in mind
Before attempting to make changes for your organization or even before you install smart tech like smart home technology at your house, it’s critical to clearly define the problem you hope to solve. And this is equally true of an IoT (Internet of things) strategy. Before jumping in, decision-makers need to identify what outcome they hope to achieve with the IoT initiative. Once that end-goal is clearly established they can focus on how best to measure performance order to determine whether or not the IoT strategy is working.
Identify all necessary connected devices and components
Once your goals are clearly defined, the next step to implementing a successful IoT strategy is to determine the physical components—i.e. hardware, equipment, machinery—you need to meet your goals. Many of these components may already be found among your existing inventory of devices, while others, such as hardware, sensors, adapters, actuators, etc., may need to be obtained from an original equipment manufacturer. While this may seem a daunting task, it is crucial for making sure that everything your organization needs to successfully join physical devices to the Internet has been identified and obtained. There’s nothing worse than either an individual or company laying out a lot of money for the latest gadgets only to find out they are still missing a crucial component to make it operational.
Figure out what you’re going to do with all that data
For a business or charitable organization, connected devices can generate massive amounts of information. But not all data should be treated equally. It’s critical to choose the data that helps you meet your goals. Some information may need to be analyzed immediately and acted upon, while other data can be stored for long-term use. To accommodate both of these requirements you need to make sure that your organization is equipped with the right big data analytics platform. Of course, if your goal is to control your energy costs with by adding smart home tech, you likely won’t require any big data.
Choose a cloud-based IoT solution
For larger organizations, you’ll want the ability generate useful insights from the information gleaned from IoT devices as quickly as possible. And that’s where analytics tools, such as a cloud Spark solution come in. The Spark analytics engine (which operates within a cloud-based Hadoop environment) can solve data storage and security problems—and allows your organization to make use of all that data you collected. Spark’s machine learning and predictive analytics capabilities can turn data into information you can actually act upon instead of just a stream of statistics.
Use dashboards to give decision makers an intuitive user experience
No matter how capable your IoT initiative is at gleaning insights, those insights won’t become actionable unless business decision makers clearly understand what the data is saying. Dashboards that utilize visualization software such as Tableau can explain the data to users, regardless of technical background, and allow them to make informed decisions that help you meet your goals.
~ Rick Delgado.