Internet of Things (IoT)
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The Three A’s of the IoT – Exploiting the Business, Engineering, and Scientific Value


The proliferation of Internet connectivity is transforming how the world of IT interacts with the physical world of machines. Today, enterprises of every size and industry are striving to harness insights from a variety of connected of things, people, machines, devices, and environments that make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

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As the IoT has achieved celebrity status today, there’s been a focus on all the data. But I see it as not so much the data, but the “insight” derived from the data and then the “action” taken on the insight. A good template for discussion I use in keynotes and guest lectures is the “Three A’s of Big Data and the IoT.” These are the high level stages in an IoT solution: Acquisition, Analysis, and Action. The first stage, Acquisition, is often overlook by the IT community. This is because the IT industry just somehow automatically receives the data over a network, already digitized in 1’s and 0’s. However, in the IoT, things data is predominately analog, and must be harvested via sensors and analog-to-digital conversion to create the digitized bits needed for the IT industry to process. My partner National Instruments has 40 years of data acquisition expertise, and we at HPE love what they do with the first A.

The second A is “Analysis,” such as software for visualization. Or to executive asset monitoring, machine learning, and various types of data analytics. The ultimate goal of Analysis is to derive insight from the Acquired data. I like to portion insight into three categories: Business insight, Engineering Insight, and Scientific insight. Business insight is such as where is my inventory, is the check-out line too long, or where will a particular demographic go on vacation this summer. Engineering insight where knowing when a large industrial pump may or may not need maintenance, or are products on a manufacturing line being built and controlled properly. Scientific insight includes medical data analysis such as learning if a tumor is benign, or if a new weather pattern developing will affect crop growth. As I work closely with the PTC company, I’m impressed with their visualization capabilities in their augmented reality solutions for the IoT.

The third A is the “Action”, which can be in many forms. Action on IoT things can be actuating the control of robotic arm or autonomous vehicle. Or, a very practical business action such as knowing when to shift more hot dog and beer inventory to the north end of Levi Stadium, to increase sales and customer satisfaction. This use case is futuristic, but here today as our HPE Aruba beacons and access points do this job now.

In sum, the Three A’s of the IoT embody the high level stages of how enterprises are exploring new ways to monetize the IoT in order to drive business growth, improve customer satisfaction, and boost revenue. A look at the 2014 Digital Universe Study helps further quantify how value and profit can be derived from the IoT in several key ways:

  • New business models: The IoT will help businesses streamline operations to speed time-to-market, monitor market changes, and quickly respond to customer needs.
  • Real-time information: With IoT, businesses can capture more data about their processes and products to enhance product development and increase customer loyalty.
  • Optimized revenue streams: The IoT can help companies identify new revenue streams while optimizing current ones.
  • Global visibility: The IoT will make it easier to track enterprise-wide effectiveness and efficacy across the supply chain.
  • Efficient, intelligent operations: Access to high-velocity data enables organizations to make immediate, data-driven decisions for pricing, logistics, sales, etc.

Here are some more stats:

IoT will have a potential economic impact of $3.9 to $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. The top-end value is equivalent to roughly 11% of the world economy.

International Data Corporation (IDC), tells us the IoT market will grow from $655.8 billion in 2014 to $1.7 trillion in 2020.

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Source: IERC, Internet of Things – From Research and Innovation to Market Deployment, 2014

Even if we cut these projections in half or further, they are pretty compelling. Thus my team and I at HPE are leading the industry with IoT-specific systems. We’re not just repurposing exiting products for the IoT, but we’ve created a new product category expressly for the IoT, called Converged IoT Systems. This systems converged data acquisition, controls, compute, storage, and systems management all in on ruggedized box. I frequently tell my colleagues, “A good company aggressively follows the trends, a great company sets the trends.” And we are setting the trends in the IoT with our Edgeline Converged IoT Systems. The IoT is expanding at an incredible rate, and my team and I want to help our customers and partners be first movers. 

I also invite you to follow me on Twitter at @TomBradicichPhD.

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About the Author


Dr. Tom Bradicich is VP and GM for Servers and IoT Systems at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He was named in Computer Reseller News’ (CRN) Top 25 Disruptors of 2016 and the Top 100 IT Executives of 2016. Tom is known for managing the introduction of innovative products and businesses, recently creating a new product category “Converged IoT Systems”, with HPE Edgeline Systems, expressly designed for the IoT edge. Tom's data center server products have received an InfoWorld 2015 Technology of the Year Award, the 2015 ARM TechCon Best of Show Award, a CRN 2015 Product of the Year Award, and swept all six categories of the 2016 IT Brand Pulse Leader Award.

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