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The Internet of Things and cloud convergence opportunities

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General Manager, Internet of Things, IBM

A fundamental understanding of the Internet of Things is that the data collection landscape has changed dramatically. We used to think about containing ingested data to devices and storage caches that were completely within the walls of the IT data center. At first, those walls gradually broke down as laptops went home and mobile devices connected to enterprises. Now we are seeing an explosion of devices in the wild that need to connect and share data with the organizations that seek to gain insights from them.

These devices, or things, need to share data with the same quality of service regardless of whether they are in a remote corner of the world or in a metropolitan area. Enterprise data centers can’t be everywhere. As a result, the Internet of Things is the primary application for cloud computing.

Given this worldwide scope, enterprises need the ability to stream and reduce information locally, anonymize business data and comply with privacy and governance regulations from around the world. And they need to do these operations while still lifting vital business insights, critical signals and responses to the right level of operations at a global level.

Running an Internet of Things business means thinking locally, globally. Data collection needs to be done with this mindset and with the flexibility to have business operations more connected than what simple device-to-gateway models provide. A recent IDC press release claims, “Within the next five years, more than 90 percent of all Internet of Things data will be hosted on service provider platforms as cloud computing reduces the complexity of supporting the Internet of Things ‘data blending.’” The Internet of Things and cloud computing are growing in tandem; one requires the other. Any company wanting to transform with Internet of Things data needs to fully embrace cloud-based systems.

The combination of cloud computing and Internet of Things data enable ubiquitous sensing services and powerful processing of sensing data streams beyond the capability of individual things, thus stimulating innovations in both areas. Cloud platforms allow the sensing data to be stored and used intelligently for smart monitoring and actuation with smart devices.

Organizations need to utilize these technologies in a way that allows devices to come and go, as they will, while business reach and outcomes are predictable. IBM designs its Internet of Things work to this point. Its cloud-based solutions are designed to run in 44 different countries and take into consideration where data and privacy are required. As a result, devices can be run locally, privacy can be maintained locally and yet the required business data can be derived and analyzed.

IBM Internet of Things Foundation offers a comprehensive, managed, cloud-hosted service with capabilities organizations can use to harness the opportunities of Internet of Things devices and data. It provides connectivity, control, device registration, rapid visualization and storage of data derived from the Internet of Things. When combined with the IBM Bluemix platform, IBM Internet of Things Foundation is designed to provide simple, but powerful, application access to devices and data. It allows line of business users to rapidly compose applications, analytics applications, mobile apps and visualization dashboards. These elements can feed an enterprise’s back end with Internet of Things data to generate new business models and insights. Check out IBM Internet of Things Foundation, and get started with a complimentary 30-day trial.