In this article, Jeff Veis, head of the Big Data Business Group at HP Software, looks at the role of big data in the Internet of Things (IoT) era.
IT and business considerations
Further challenges lie not only with IT leaders, but enterprise business leaders. Every enterprise needs innovation; however, IT leaders often struggle to shift from managing daily operations, to solving problems, streamlining, and looking for the next big thing. Business leaders face the same challenges; while some make innovation a priority, quite often they are more focused on closing the quarter and hitting their forecasts.
When you bring the two groups together, however, businesses start to ask how they can predict sales more accurately, and how to gain a more granular view of customers in certain markets. Big data and predictive analytic technologies make this possible, allowing IT to reveal the answers that drive innovation, revenue and business value.
Security of IoT data
Once this data has been processed and analysed, it is important to consider how secure this data is as enterprise IT systems continue to evolve and grow more complex. Today, sensitive information is everywhere – in cloud and big data environments and on mobile platforms.
With employees scattered around the world, and as the IoT market continues to grow, it is important to realise that there are even more connected devices available than we ever imagined. In fact, Gartner forecasts that 4.9 billion connected things will be in use in 2015, up 30% from 2014, and will reach 25 billion by 2020.
The opportunity at stake
IoT is thus a huge opportunity, and organisations that put IoT to work can increase revenues, cut costs and improve efficiencies and customer satisfaction. However, in order to capitalise on IoT and implement data-driven business models, organisations need a platform that helps them intelligently collect, manage and analyse huge volumes of sensor data in a cost-effective and scalable manner.
The first step in this process, data collection and integration, remains a challenge because there is currently a lack of common (vendor and platform-agnostic) connectivity standards in the industry. In fact, we view this as a factor inhibiting wider IoT adoption. For these reasons, it is critically important to utilise a Big Data platform that can consume or read many diverse data sources, streamlining and accelerating data integration. In addition, IoT data must be able to be loaded and queried simultaneously to avoid missing out on real-time immediately actionable insights. For example, by the time the data is loaded into a database and analysed, an organisation may have missed a critical chance to respond or act upon a small window of opportunity with a connected product.
To conclude, while many challenges lie ahead for businesses adopting IoT, these are far outweighed by the benefits as it continues to impress with both its promise and offerings. Products, services, and ecosystems around IoT will increasingly offer a wide range of benefits that will entice both consumers and businesses. Big data is an important tool towards the realisation of IoT’s promise and subsequent maximisation of a business’s profits.
Jeff Veis, head of the Big Data Business Group at HP Software, is globally responsible for product, solution, partner, and developer marketing and community initiatives.