|By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan||
|December 20, 2014 04:00 PM EST||
The Internet of Things will be a real thing in 2015, many of the CIOs we hear are having plans of at least a few pilot projects if not full-fledged projects in that space for 2015. It will be clear that most of these will be a green field initiatives as the tools, platforms and frameworks for IoT projects are just evolving.
Now the biggest dilemma for CIOs which may boil down to CTOs too are, how do choose the platforms for IoT Projects.
- Option A: Build our own platform through a suite of Open Source tools
- Option B: Go with trusted enterprise players and build around their offerings.
Before we conclude anything, there are something quite distinct of IoT projects when compared to risks in other green field new initiatives of past like Social, Big Data, Mobility, DevOps etc., there are some definite set of new risks associated with IoT, which would put enterprises into lot of legal issues and loss of business if not properly handled.
New Risks In IoT Projects: Apart from technical definitions, Internet of Things is all about improving the day to day life of humans by providing a ecosystem of connected environment alongside with machines such that:
- Machines better understand Human needs and Emotions
- Machines Replace Humans in mundane repetitive tasks
- Machine help Humans to become smarter in advanced non repetitive tasks
In other words, the human centric aspect is much bigger in IoT projects than any thing else. Here are some of the examples of proposed line up of IoT use cases where the human side is key factor and how a failure could be much more catastrophic for both humans and the serving enterprises.
IoT In Healthcare: There are tons of use cases already where by IoT initiatives help the patients with faster, quicker and preventive treatment. Examples being:
- Diabetic care app that allows patients to instantly access and aggregate their health data from multiple devices anywhere in the world, as well as apply advancedanalyticsto control their blood sugar at precisely accurate levels.
- For example, helium levels in an MRI machine need to be monitored to ensure that the device is operating correctly. By using IoT-connected devices, field engineers can be dispatched to a hospital before an MRI's helium levels are depleted, avoiding a total machine shutdown and patient rescheduling.
- Infant monitor that sends parents real-time information on their baby's breathing, skin temperature, sleeping position, and activity level.
These are just few examples, but we have to note that the room for error or experimenting in these scenarios is 0% and enterprises which provision these IoT applications have to be take utmost interest in the trusted platforms that can deliver these applications.
IoT In Automobile: Any disruptions in the Automobile industry is a double edged sword as they are directly tied to day to day safety of not just the drivers/consumers of the application but also other fellow passengers and other drivers of th road. In this area also several use cases have come up for IoT usage.
- Intelligent auto solutions make cars smarter by connecting them to the cloud and allow car owners to make better decisions based on reliable data. From multi-point monitoring to engine diagnostics and scheduling the service to automated emergency response, smart automobiles are equipped to handle everything intuitively.
As evident any wrong decisions or improper usage of the IoT application can prove a disaster for the driver.
IoT In Homes: IoT is also poised to improve the home security in a big way, for example Some of latest home security devices will detect variances in motion, heat and sound, and then send an alert to the customer, if they have selected this option. But again from the very definition, anything wrong here could compromise the home security and risk the lives of people and property.
While there could be more similar use cases, the point here is IoT while bringing new innovation and benefits also brings new risks. These risks much different from earlier innovations, because when in earlier cases it is mostly the enterprise financial, reporting and other data processing tasks were at risk but now with IoT directly human and community life are at risk and hence this has to be looked with much more attention.
Mitigating Risks In IoT Projects: Considering the inherent risks of IoT projects it is better for enterprises to start the pilot projects with proven players who are part and parcel of enterprise IT initiatives in the last decade than trying new frameworks and tools which may be good but not gained much of enterprise traction. But as a welcome sign several of the large enterprise players are already offering several initiatives in support of internet of things, it is better and wiser to embracing them for pilot projects before we try out other platforms. Some of these offerings are below.
- Microsoft - IoT Offerings (few of them)
- Azure Event Hubs
- Azure Stream Analytics
- Azure Machine Learning
- IBM - IoT Offerings (few of them)
- Internet Of Things Foundation
- CISCO - IoT Offerings (few of them)
- Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings
- SAP - IoT Offerings (few of them)
- SAP Connected Logistics
- SAP Connected Manufacturing
- SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service
There are definitely few more enterprise big players like GE, Intel, Google, Bosch....who offer IoT-enabled services and products. Based on the new risks mentioned above, it is better that enterprises stick to these larger players and their platforms and tools when it comes to IoT projects as it will enable them to concentrate on the true business value and innovation of IoT while mitigating the risk that are part of it.
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