Internet of Things (IoT)
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IoT—turning data into business innovation



by Doug Oathout
Vice President, HPE Internet of Things & Agile Marketing

There’s a new expression that’s resonating with a lot of business executives these days: to be “Ubered”—blindsided by a startup with a new business model, supported by an innovative application of technology that ends up disrupting the industry ecosystem. It’s an example of the how the idea economy works—a technology-enabled business environment where success depends on how quickly great new ideas are made real and brought to market. The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the biggest technology trends that is already delivering a lot of Ubering and will continue to disrupt economies over the next decades. I’d like to tell you about the IoT, what business needs are driving it, the technology advances that are enabling it, and where it promises to take us.

More than anything else, innovative new products, services, and business models—or breakthrough improvements in operational efficiencies—are enabled by insight drawn from a new-found wealth of information. Massive amounts of data—what we’ve come to call Big Data—comes from many sources: business transactions, company operations, customer behavior. But the IoT is specifically about capturing and analyzing data from sensors and using the resulting insight to accelerate change and time to market.

It’s not an entirely new concept. Applications like building security and environmental control have long relied on sensors to detect that a door is ajar, a space was entered, or the basement is getting too cold. But now, three things are dramatically expanding the use of sensors in a wide variety of applications: the cost of sensors is plummeting (often to a few dollars apiece, or even cents), battery life has increased three-fold, and cost-effective network communications enable deployment almost anywhere.

Automate.pngThis enables the capture and digitization of data from almost any phase of an organization’s operations. Health care providers are monitoring patients remotely. Smart cities are instrumenting public transportation systems, utilities, and law enforcement activities to improve urban services. Industrial companies are monitoring machinery performance and being able to detect developing failures and schedule maintenance before they occur. Transportation and distribution companies are tracking vehicles and cargo and dynamically adjusting routes to speed service and improve efficiency.

The ability to capture, analyze, and communicate data where it originates in real time is enabling new consumption-based sales and business models. Just as cloud computing is shifting IT expenditures to pay-for-what-you-use OPEX, IoT will let Rolls Royce sell thrust rather than jet engines and Kaeser Compressors sell compression rather than compressors.

But even these efforts are just the beginning...

The IoT is blossoming through three distinct waves

Wave 1—Single purpose, cloud compute. Remote devices support a single function, and data is transported from the device to the data center or to a cloud-based processing point. Think about the emergency assistance services common in some vehicles.

Wave 2—Multi-purpose, hybrid compute—Remote devices integrate several functions. Data may still be transported to a central location, but at least some processing happens at the network edge—where the data originates. To continue our vehicle example, accident avoidance systems use this model.

Wave 3—Infinite purpose, mesh compute—Remote systems are extended to serve many functions, and processing is dynamically allocated—from the data center to the cloud to the edge—according to the needs of the application. For example, autonomous vehicles will analyze and respond to sensor data in the vehicle, communicate with other vehicles, and transport data to the cloud or data center to update machine learning models with scoring data.

The keys to this progression are the ability to deploy computing power to the edge of the network—whether it’s a vehicle on the highway, an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, or a factory in another country—to connect it via cost-effective communications, to do it securely, and to do it in an open ecosystem. That’s what we’re enabling in HPE. We have the strategy, the technology, and the expertise, and we’re helping customers worldwide apply the power of IoT to their business.

gartner-symposium-miniature.jpgNext Monday, October 17th at 3:30 I’ll be presenting a session at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando. Attend my session to learn more about what we’re doing. Or track me down in the hall. We can talk about how you might use IoT in your business to Uber rather than be Ubered.

Empowering the Digital Enterprise to be more efficient and innovative through data-driven insights from the Internet of Things (IoT)
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