Today’s level of IoT growth and adoption reminds me a lot of the pre-cloud hosting days. You know, when people used to actually buy hardware and host it in the telco closet of their office building on a T1 line. Similar to cloud hosting which took the better half of a decade to see full enterprise adoption, there is a lot of fear surrounding security and a lot of the ROI calculations can be a bit cloudy.
What’s different about IoT growth versus cloud hosting, is that adoption and implementation normally falls dramatically outside of the traditional IT organization. Today’s enterprise and corporate IT leaders, outside of the CIO, don’t get the quant in the improvement of facilities operations, security and environment as it relates to their historical areas of impact. But, has being too focused on all of the things like computers and telephony connected to the LANs and WANs kept us from seeing the bigger picture when it comes to IoT, which isn’t really connected to anything tangible at all sometimes?
IoT Requires Imagination
IoT devices are traditionally connected by a variety of wireless networks, from local Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Zigby based protocols to collect local information and pushed to a cloud processing engine by cell signal (3G, 4G, 5G) or through the WAN (ISP or private connection). This is, in fact, a new network, a distributed network that is powered by gateways, repeaters, and LTE chipsets. It’s a network that doesn’t connect from point A to point B, so conceptualization can be more difficult to determine the value of such a network. And this network, seemingly has the most impact to the Ops and Facilities executives, not to the IT group.
Forever now, literally since CERN created the Internet in the late 1980’s, people have been consuming information externally, across WANs and connecting to databases, computers, files, and applications. IoT is the antithesis of the Internet in many ways. One major way, is that with IoT, many facility operators and corporate IT leaders can begin to connect internally to information within their specific geofenced or metro area location. The information and the results are can be quite interesting once this paradigm takes place. And, although there is a universe of information that is accessible through WANs, there is also an ocean of actionable intelligence and capability just waiting to be discovered through IoT.
IoT, the Final Frontier
As IoT growth climbs up the bell curve, I believe it will be fueled by successful partnerships between progressive IT leaders and Operations executives that see the need to understand and control what is going on around them, the distributed things that aren’t connected. It suffices me to say, that the Final Frontier has been sitting under our noses the entire time. It’s time to start looking inward, and that’s what IoT is all about as it relates to facilities.