Despite Gartner’s August 2014 claim that the Internet of Things has overtaken Big Data as the industry’s most ‘over-hyped’ subject, the world’s largest IT organizations continue to demonstrate their commitment to the sector.
The latest company to do so is IBM, which earlier this week shed light on a $3billion investment strategy intended to leverage the Internet of Things more effectively. This includes the creation of a new dedicated business unit, whose main objective is to design a platform that puts the company at the forefront of the industry while simultaneously courting the external software developers that are often responsible for innovation.
Since Gartner’s original claim, the Internet of Things has begun to show signs that it is a maturing IT ecosystem with real business value. This is partly because the enterprise is more effectively defining what it actually means. Ultimately, this has arisen from clearer differences between the consumer market (home automation, wearable technology and smart devices) and a more enterprise-grade instrumentation built around corporate efficiency and data management.
If we hone in on the corporate perspective, the Internet of Things currently goes by many names. Cisco has named it the Internet of Everything. GE has coined the term Industrial Internet, a term it continues to build upon with the development of its own software platform, Predix. We prefer the term Workplace IoT when discussing our full-suite of instrumentation, sensors, software, third-party integrations and predictive data analysis built around the data center.
The public’s perception of the Internet of Things can sometimes affect the credibility of the Workplace IoT. However, as many of our customers have demonstrated, there are large-scale savings and efficiencies possible from bringing together operational, financial, environmental and location data within the data center.
Greater corporate efficiency is likely to be one of IBM’s main objectives with the company’s latest Internet of Things drive. As Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President of IBM Analytics stated, “Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result.” Organizations now have access to a broad range of data points, control systems, software-defined infrastructure and monitoring capabilities to help them deliver on these data-driven intentions.
The platforms that ensure the delivery of tangible business outcomes are rapidly becoming more intelligent and comprehensive, and as more large-scale corporate investments continue to occur, it shouldn’t be long before the industry sheds its misconceptions and becomes more than just a drive to connect everything, everywhere for the sake of it.