During the summer of 2014 Gartner announced that Internet of Things officially replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Basic statistics tell us that we are only scratching the surface of where the Big Data market is going, and again we can see this upward trend in relation to IoT. Researchers predict that by 2020 over 30 billion objects will wirelessly be connected to the internet. With the massive levels of information processing we’re already seeing, it doesn’t take rocket science to imagine the kinds of data that will become available from these sources . . . and the kinds of resources needed to capture and process and share all of this data.
Not to be outdone, Big Data is only going to expand and scale into ginormous new realms in direct proportion with the growth of Internet of Things. The intersection of Big Data and Internet of Things will indeed create new IT challenges in data storage, integration, and analytics. But it will create many more opportunities than challenges. It doesn’t take a lot to realize that as each new internet-enabled object with its own IP address starts generating data – the volume, variety, and velocity of that information will grow immensely as well. Wearables, smart homes, driverless cars, smart machines, drones, you name it . . . all of these devices will produce vast of amounts of data. And the intersection of IoT and Big Data is where the pot of gold resides for those companies that can leverage and get onboard this epic new wave of technological innovation.
Here are some ways to start thinking about the tremendous ROI that can be earned at the nexus of Big Data & Internet of Things.
New Business Models & Services
It’s hard to fathom the impact on business caused by a world in which literally everything — phones, lights, fitness trackers, toasters, toothbrushes, small devices or big devices such as jet engines and turbines – is connected to the internet. The business models and opportunities that this opens up are endless. One Harvard Business Review article has explored this issue by suggesting how IoT is completely changing the mindset of how products capture and create value.
Instead of a standalone product that grows obsolete with time, IoT brings to the fore products that get refreshed, add personalization and context, and address ongoing customer needs in real-time. Digital businesses that can find quicker and more agile ways to analyze, leverage, transform, and visualize the huge amount of data produced by these new product and marketing models will be light years ahead of the competition.
The whole notion of Internet of Things relies on the value of connecting physical objects to the internet in a way that can be tracked, measured, and controlled remotely to provide greater value to the end-user. But current trends indicate that the Internet will not just pertain to random “things” but will literally be ubiquitous, or what some are calling the “Internet of Everything.” Again, it bears repeating . . . those businesses that create new insights and value from all the data produced from the ubiquitous internet will certainly make their mark in this new era of innovation.
If Big Data is the gold of the digital era, then the “smart home” industry will produce a veritable goldrush of innovation and wealth. The market is churning and just starting to take off; we’re seeing wi-fi lighting, remote shades, digitally locked doors, security monitoring systems, smart appliances, including TV, and much, much more.
All of these appliances, systems, and devices contain sensors that connect them to a network and produce large amounts of data. As more and more of this unstructured data becomes available, it will spin off new business models and services around the leveraging and marketing of this data. Home automation is just one of many new domains where Big Data and Internet of Things will combine to generate tremendous amounts of wealth for those innovators who capture the opportunities here.
The realm of cyber-security is hopping and has seen a huge spike in interest in recent years due to the increased number of epic commercial hacks and breaches. There are obviously enormous risks associated with Internet of Things and Big Data. More connected objects means the greater number of endpoints that need to be secured. In the words of one industry expert, “The IoT inherently creates billions of insecure new endpoints . . . .These IP-addressable devices will create new vectors of attack designed to either compromise the device or gain access to the enterprise network.”
IT organizations will be stretched in their ability to deal with the multitude of entry points that create vulnerabilities for online attacks. The era of Internet of Things will require a total overhaul in approaches to establishing and managing cyber-security strategies. But this will also create unheard of opportunities for startups and innovators that want to get into the business of helping organizations, homes, and individuals secure their assets and protect their identity from hackers and cybercriminals that wish to do others harm.