Private cloud and the Internet of Things – a perfect match?
We have all heard and read a great deal about the Internet of Things (IoT) recently. It is the next era of connectivity, with wearable devices, cars, homes, equipment, appliances, manufacturing plants and all sorts of other machines becoming connected to one another and powering the next generation way of living.
Industry research and forecasts bear out the expected rapid growth of the IoT; Gartner has estimated that there will be around 26 billion connected devices by 2020, while another report predicts that the IoT will deliver $1.7 trillion in added value to the global economy in 2019, through efficiencies in hardware, software, installation costs, management services and more. Of course all these devices mean exponentially more data created and travelling across the IoT, with some estimates projecting up to 44 zettabytes (ZB) by 2020 – that’s an enormous 44 trillion gigabytes.
But with all this data, all these connected devices and so many expectant end-users to serve within the IoT, how will technology infrastructure evolve to support it? The answer could be in the private cloud.
Cloud powers the IoT, IoT needs the cloud
By now we are very aware of the many benefits that cloud computing delivers, such as encouraging innovation and helping make time to market for new products or services faster. The growth of cloud has gone hand in hand with the growth of computing in general, so as devices, storage and networks all become more easily available and affordable through the cloud, so we are seeing an explosion in innovation for products and services such as those delivered by the IoT.
eHealth devices that monitor people’s personal health, RFID chips and tags to track goods and shipments within a supply chain, personal fitness devices, wearable technology, connected automobiles, smart city and smart grid solutions to make us more energy efficient – all of these have been enabled by cloud computing. All of these elements create tons of data that the IoT will need to carry, so things like real-time data management, analysis and dashboards become not just major IT challenges but in fact serious, strategic business requirements. And as a result of that business imperative, what else comes to mind? Security, compliance and regulations? Right on all counts.
Taking your IoT proposition forward
Deploying Products and services that leverage the IoT means managing many challenges and getting a lot of relationships and combinations right. You are combining software with infrastructure but must also be aware that today’s industry is manufacturing and delivering more and more devices that enable IoT solutions. Major investment is being made in IoT, not only by smaller, innovative start-ups but also by major, global players.
So what do you need to consider when approaching your IoT proposition? Well, you must think about backend services, about interoperability, about digital identity, about portability – also about event aggregation and management, firmware upgrades and storage. Cloud computing is a perfect channel for enabling massive data storage, processing and analytics, making cloud and the IoT a strong proposition.
A match made in heaven
The combination of IoT with private cloud can meet all the demands that the IoT will place on infrastructure. The governance, regulation and compliance (GRC) challenges inherent to the IoT can be dealt with using private cloud for backend processing , while deploying within a private cloud also delivers the appropriate control systems to address security requirements around all that sensitive data including digital identity
This is the crux; private cloud can deliver on all the key demands of IoT technology. For a long time there was a campaign to empower employees to make independent decisions, to help them work more flexibly and productively. The private cloud and IoT equation takes this approach to devices too, empowering them with artificial intelligence and helping automated decision-making by connected devices. Which in turn delivers all those vital efficiencies, improved customer satisfaction and sustainable business growth as I mentioned earlier.
In fact it is already here thanks to the full integration of solutions from Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions, real-time analytics, integration with existing enterprise infrastructure and private cloud. The ideal IoT solution comprises the right business policies, procedures, change management, control, security and reporting – and private cloud delivers all this. Combining the IoT and private cloud seems to make a bulletproof proposition for delivering on the IoT’s promise; with private cloud all the moving parts of the IoT are well served and it becomes, basically, a well-oiled machine for your business growth.
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