The Internet of Things and Big Data Unleashed
It would be difficult to avoid the hype surrounding the “internet of things” (IoT) and “big data” considering that they are two technologies that have been the subject of much lively conversation and debate lately. Last year, the analyst firm, Gartner, placed them at the top of their Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.
IoT is defined as a group of net-connected sensors. These are linked to a variety of “things” and can come in different shapes and sizes (and wired or wireless). “Things” can refer to just about anything (even living things) that can have a sensor embedded or attached. For example, if you own a smartphone, you are automatically a multi-sensor thing, meaning your day-to-day activities can be followed and analyzed.
Big Data is characterized by: volume, velocity, variety and veracity (also known as the ‘four V’s):
• Volume: It comes in big amounts
• Velocity: It comes at speed
• Variety: Some information is structured, some is unstructured
• Veracity: It’s provenance can be uncertain
It is clear that big data and IoT are intimately connected. “Things” will come in the billions and will generate huge amounts of data.
According to EMC and IDC, organizations will have to focus on data that is:
• Easily accessed
• Available in real time
• Has a big footprint, and/or;
• Can affect meaningful change
In consideration of the massive number of net-connected things, the amount of this kind of actionable data is actually smaller than one may think, but where will it and IoT make an impact overall? It is clear that they are growing fast, but which sectors in particular will be affected? Earlier this year, in its IoT predictions, IDC noted that “…today, over 50% of IoT activity is centered in manufacturing, transportation, smart city, and consumer applications, but within 5 years, all industries will have rolled out IoT initiatives.”
IDC and EMC also see new business opportunities being created by IoT in the following 5 areas:
• New Business models
• Real-time information on mission-critical systems
• Diversification of revenue streams
• Global visibility
• Efficient, intelligent operations