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Peter Drucker would have loved the Internet of Things

EIC_IoT_Blog

By Dr. Tom Bradicich

We have all heard the business management maxim commonly attributed to Peter Drucker(1): “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” While this might have different meanings depending on context, it can be interpreted as a call to action to collect and analyze data to produce insights and evaluate performance.

This saying has never been truer in today’s digital economy, which is being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution(2). The exponential evolution in processing capabilities(3) and other dramatic technology advancements in the last few decades have allowed billions of individuals, applications, and sensor-enabled “things” to generate incredibly massive amounts of data (44 zettabytes by 2020, according to IDC(4)) which, in turn, lets organizations measure—and improve—practically anything they deem relevant to their business.

Ironically, since any “thing” with a sensor can be a source of data, all of these connected “things” create a series of challenges and raise questions for IT organizations, such as:

  • How does one aggregate the massive amounts of data being generated?
  • What information should be collected to drive optimal insights?
  • How fast can insights be generated to drive efficient business decisions?
  • Is the data actually secure?
  • Where is the most effective location to analyze the data to produce insights?
  • And so on…

Today, the answers likely include sending data to a data center or to the cloud. While these might be the right approach for some scenarios, there is now another viable option: Analyze the data where it is being generated—at the edge(5).

 

Making Dr. Drucker proud: The pump data challenge
Imagine a renewable energy company that uses giant water pumps to generate electricity. They install the equipment in the field and measure flow, pressure, and temperature to monitor operations, evaluate maintenance needs, and ensure maximum efficiency.

The company must be able to accurately collect data on every aspect of the equipment’s operation to calculate utilization, monitor performance, and identify abnormalities, reducing downtime and failures via on-screen and phone alerts. By doing this, the company increases efficiency and reduces cost.

Sensors in a single pump can continually generate data—and there are often multiple pumps in a single facility. The company may also want to monitor all the pumps connected to the grid. Sending such massive amounts of data (some of it highly sensitive) generated from each pump in each facility to a data center or to the cloud may not be a cost-effective option—nor is it timely, if you need immediate access to the data.

Here is where edge computing becomes pivotal. Why? The collection and analysis of the data happens in real-time—at the edge, where the “things” are.

 

The 3 critical capabilities of edge computing
IT professionals will find all three of the following capabilities in today’s IT marketplace; however, very few companies have expertise across the board. The three critical capabilities of edge computing include:

1. Compute power: Enabling data processing to develop critical insights
2. Data acquisition: Publishing and ingesting the data from the things
3. Systems and device management: Providing centralized control of the entire IoT environment

Ideally, these three attributes would be converged in a single, small, low-power system and be environmentally hardened for shock, vibration, and expanded temperature ranges.

 

The takeaway
HPE IoT Edge Computing systems enables companies across industries to make faster, better-informed decisions by linking data from sensor-enabled, connected equipment to their IT systems. As organizations invest in Internet of Things solutions to facilitate their digital transformation, they will need technology and expert IT support to make sure these complex systems deliver as needed.

To learn more about the business drivers of edge computing, read our white paper, HPE and IoT Compute at the Edge. Tell us what your favorite business management quote is and how it has inspired you to run and innovate your IT organization in the comments below.

 

 

Dr_Tom_Bradicich_Headshot.jpgDr. Tom Bradicich - GM and VP for HPE Servers and IoT Systems at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Dr. Tom Bradicich has been involved in the development of IoT solutions in his prior capacity at National Instruments. Today, he is the GM and VP for HPE Servers and IoT Systems at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, leading the global business unit that includes the Edgeline IoT Systems family. Follow him on Twitter at @TomBradicichPhD

 

 

 

 

 

Additional links:

 

References:
(1) Peter Drucker – Wikipedia page
(2) Article: “Industrie 4.0” @ WEF – what it means to your business".
(3) Moore’s Law – Wikipedia page
(4) Article: “The digital universe will soon grow to 44 zettabytes of data”
(5) Article: “Taming the IoT data tsunami with Edge Computing”

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