The Internet of Things (IoT) is not futuristic trend, its billions of connect devices and sensors, it is something that is happening now, it promises vast opportunities, and an immense set of challenges that will affect everyone from the CxO’s office, to the developers and how they build their applications, and everyone in between.
Arguably, IoT could be the Holy Grail of what we have all been chasing since the conception of the computer and it is a logical next step to the dotcom boom that occurred in late 90’s. In the beginning, every company was told in order to compete you have to computer on every desk and you have to be on the internet.To this day, I am convinced that many executives approved these initiatives not because they really understood why, or what the benefit would ultimately be, but to ensure they were not left behind just in case the IT consultants were right. As it turns out, the IT consultants were correct, but there were many undelivered promises that still muddy the waters in executive’s memories and IoT is going to be a tough sell if you try to boil the ocean. You will need to focus on the, “Internet of Your Things”. More on this later.
I like to remember those days as the glory days of IT. Companies shifted mass amounts of budgets to build out IT and they started placing computers on everyone’s desk. I got my first laptop, an email address, and I was able to connect into many of the services we see today like email, DB, Web, File Services, Search, ERP, CRM, etc… Because of those investments employees, customers, and businesses were eventually connected through smaller networks (intranets) that were then connected into a giant interconnected networks, which is now an integral part of the cloud as it exist today. Ever since then, we have seen an explosion in the types of connected devices that are connected and they are showing up in more and more places including people’s personal lives. There has been an explosion of where you can connect these devices to the internet through Wi-Fi hotspots, and with all these things in place, the result has been tremendous productivity gains and business opportunities for anyone who had a good idea and the will to make it happen. At the same time, there has been many disappointments along the way. In my mind, the biggest disappointment is the promise that the Dot-Com boom was going to enable, but ultimately was not ready to deliver in its first versions and fell short in many areas.
The good news is, 20+ years later, here we are, and we live in a world where there are billions of connected devices, which are capable of collecting and sharing large amounts of data. There are millions of ideas on what we can do with these connected devices and the data they hold, and there is infinite amount of decisions on what to do next. Looking back, I believe the concept of IoT is what was essentially promised back in the late 90’s and with a lot of hard work from the IT armies around the world, were are finally here, and there are many reason why you should be considering a IoT strategy going forward.
So where does Microsoft stand on IoT?
Let’s simplify this and break it down into digestible chunks. First, you have to simplify the concept of IoT into a concept of what matters to me. If you focus on IoT in terms of everything such as billions of devices and sensors, you might explode where you sit trying to figure out your strategy. Instead, focus on what matters most to your company or organization. Do not think in terms about what can do with the massive amount of data being produced from the billions of connected devices, think about how you can use one piece of that data to provide the most value to your business or organization.
Our approach is to create an “Internet of Your Things” (IoYT) by determining from the billions of things that are connected, discover what data from those connected devices will have the most impact on my business.
For example, if you are in food-service inspector, use your connected devices to cut the inspection process in half. If you are in health care, give your doctors and nurses access to patient records in a fraction of the time. If you’re in the Marine Corp, give your units in the field access to real time satellite or drone data so they can stay ahead of the enemy, or give your supply lines real time tracking where there supplies are located, when they will arrive, whether in a backpack, in a truck, or on a ship. The solutions are endless and achievable if you focus on IoYT.
It is time to create an “Internet of Your Things” strategy so your business can lead, instead of fighting to catch up.
Find out more at Internet of Things web site:
Download the following whitepapers:
Microsoft Internet of Things Top Ten Reasons: http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/1/F/E1FFDADF-C0FF-4E72-A834-B173A079F393/Microsoft_Internet_of_Things_Top_Ten_Reasons.pdf
Microsoft Internet of Things White Paper: http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/1/F/E1FFDADF-C0FF-4E72-A834-B173A079F393/Microsoft_Internet_of_Things_White_Paper.pdf