Business Trends in IoT Ecosystem

Key Trends

There is a trend in the IoT landscape of vendor consolidation around a few major platform vendors. The vendors from different links of the chain collaborate by providing a seamless experience to build, deploy and operate IoT solutions. Many of the major IoT platform leaders have defined end to end system specifications with their ecosystem partners for a secure, scalable and interoperable deployments. This has led to transforming the vertically fragmented and inadequate proprietary markets into well-organized and horizontally scalable open markets. It will enable key players to gain a major share in the IoT market, which is predicted by IDC to reach an annual revenue of USD 1.7 trillion by 2020.

Collaboration, Acquisitions and Partnerships

The acquisition of Wind River and McAfee by Intel, Nest by Google, Solair by Microsoft, Jasper by Cisco and Atmel by Microchip can be seen as strengthening their foothold and consolidation of services in the IoT ecosystem.  These market leaders have also formed alliances and partnerships with other horizontal leaders, SMEs and start-ups to build their own ecosystem. Some of these partnerships are Samsung-SAP, Cisco-GE, Apple-IBM. All these happened because of the awareness of the industry that there was too much fragmentation with companies working in silos. These heavy-duty collaborations are essential for the IoT market to succeed. It is interesting to note that innovation is a key element and the start-ups are going to play a crucial role in that. 2lemetry, Estimote, Digital Lumens, Litbit, Skycatch are some of the leading start-ups getting attention with their innovative ideas.

What the market looks for

When businesses plan for the IoT transformation, the major considerations are the ease of interoperability, seamless integration, maintainability and scalability factors. The other factors being reducing risk and lowering the cost of implementation and operation.

The market needs vendors, device manufacturers and services providers who can help to quickly rollout the IoT solution with the essentials. These include automated discovery and provisioning of sensors and actuators, device control, seamless storage and processing of data, security of data and devices, analytics capability and monetizing of the services. This is where these collaborations are going to benefit the end customer and the industry as a whole.

The Benefit and Value Add

The crux of this collaboration is the desire of every player in IoT, big or small, for a transformation from a product business into services business, seeing the long term and continuous monetization opportunity. In essence, the alliances of platform leaders with vendors at different planes of the spectrum will influence the choices of picking devices, software, services and operators in an end to end IoT solution. The positive note about all these collaborations and alliances is that it is going to eventually help the end users with competitive pricing, faster deployments, innovative and effective solutions.

Enabling Big Data in your IOT Strategy

IOT and Big data are considered as two sides of a same coin. For some industry requirements, you won’t be able to differentiate whether it is IOT or big data solution. At the same time, in some cases your IOT solutions may not be having any big data use cases. In such cases, it is always a tough call for the IOT strategist to decide on the feasibility of considering big data in their system.

I suggest to keep your data big data friendly.

What does big data friendly mean?

Current big data solutions are spending lot of efforts to clean up their large amount of complex & messy data. It happened just because the data was not collected big data friendly.  We should learn from the mistakes of others!!! Your data may not be “big” now, but it is growing  and soon  will be large  for any big data processing in future. Industry already started adopting new approaches, moving from descriptive to predictive and prescriptive analytics. We should prepare our data for various big data analytics in future to improve our business value.

How can we make our IOT strategies big data friendly?

There are a few design considerations,

1. Finding ‘target-rich’ data :-

All data may not be worth saving for future. Organizations need to focus on the high-value ‘target-rich’ data. Business analyst and data scientist should work on identifying the high value data which can be an asset for the organization in near future.

2. Data saving strategies :-

How data is stored is a major decision point for the big data system.

2.1 Data Format

Saving text data in formats like JSON data won’t be easy to handle when the data become huge. We should also consider using more big data friendly formats like Parquet, Avro, ORC etc

2.2 Dynamic schema for version handling

The data veracity increases when the system grows with different versions have different fields added or renamed or removed. Manually handling schema is always an overhead. Self describing data formats will be a suitable solution. We should consider using data formats having dynamic schema generation capability (like parquet).

2.3 Partitioning strategy of data

Data partitioning strategy should be defined to having better segmentation of data for easy processing.

3. Security considerations.

Data security is one of the major concerns of both big data and IOT systems. We should implement the privacy by design. Privacy impact assessment and data anonymization are few things to be considered.

In a multi tenant environment, you don’t know how fast your data is growing and become matured as big data. Preparing your data for future will enable to extract maximum value out of it.

“Information is wealth”, Sequoia Applied Technologies will help design solutions to Capture it before you lose it!! .

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