May 24, 2017

Top 4 takeaways from IoT World Conference

Device Authority visited the IoT World conference in Santa Clara last week, which brings together hundreds of companies and leaders in the IoT space. As a team, we had a number of meetings with delegates and if you missed it, here are our top 4 takeaways…

There’s an opportunity for a new type of systems integrator

Delegates and exhibitors alike were looking to forge better and deeper eco-system partnerships. Full IoT solutions need hardware, software, and connectivity. Since few companies do it all, systems integration remains one of the top challenges for a successful implementation. Partnerships are absolutely essential for success in the Internet of Things. However, in reality there’s demand for a new type of systems integrator, one unifying the OI, IT and IoT disciplines. There are only a handful of companies out there that can truly deliver this at the moment.

Fog Computing is on the rise

Conventional cloud architectures require the smallest data to be sent to the central cloud through edge node devices for computation and analysis, which eventually adds latency and costs to the operational model. There were a lot of conversations about how Fog Computing, empowers the edge node devices to carry out some local data processing, cache data management, dense geographical distribution, local resource pooling, load balancing, local device management, latency reduction for better QoS (Quality of Service) and edge node analytics. No doubt Fog Computing is on the rise with benefits such as enhanced user experiences, faster response times and reduced network costs.

Security remains a major concern

Companies remain concerned, and for good reason, that when they connect their physical environment to the cloud or data centres, it becomes at risk of being accessible to the outside world. The proliferation of devices, and the design of those devices, mean the attack surface is not only multiplying at an exponential rate but is more vulnerable than traditional IT systems.

Security should be a number one priority when implementing an IoT solution. At the conference, John Maddison, the SVP of Products and Solutions at Fortinent, warned in his keynote that ransomware like WannaCry is a predictor of what is to come in IoT.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the rise

In previous years, the focus of IoT was on “connecting” devices and sensors to the Internet. Now, we’re having discussions about how to manage the sheer volume of data being created by these connected devices and extract valuable insight.

General consensus at the conference was the only way to keep up with this IoT-generated data and analyse the hidden insight it holds is with machine learning or Artificial Intelligence – making things “smart” by pairing connectivity with an AI engine.

In an IoT situation, machine learning can help companies take the billions of data points they have and boil them down to what’s really meaningful. The general premise is the same as in the retail applications – review and analyse the data you’ve collected to find patterns or similarities that can be learned from, so that better decisions can be made.

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Darron Antill