Top IT vendors reveal their IoT strategies

Cisco, IBM, HP, Intel, Microsoft argue that the Internet of Things is mainstream today.

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As more devices become connected every day, companies face increased fragmentation, interoperability and security challenges. To address this, Intel is delivering integrated, scalable hardware and software solutions specifically designed to meet diverse market needs from devices to the cloud. An end-to-end strategy requires making devices more intelligent and secure to reliably filter and manage data locally, and Intel addresses this with a scalable road map of products to power devices at the edge of the network, from the energy-efficient Intel Quark SoC to the high-performance Intel Xeon processors.

Intel is also delivering a portfolio of hardware and software products designed to unlock data intelligence from the device through the network to the cloud, enabling new business models and service offerings.

By developing horizontal building blocks for vertical end-to-end analytics as well as distributed analytics for edge systems and data center, Intel helps companies take the critical step in unlocking the power of the IoT by turning big data into actionable information.

When will IoT become mainstream?

Despite its relatively newfound popularity, the Internet of Things already has an established foothold in today’s businesses. Of course, we do expect it to grow and expand in the near term. In fact, by 2020, we’ll see more than 200 billion connected devices and a $9 trillion market for the IoT. Although some businesses and individuals are just waking up to the possibilities of the IoT, and despite hurdles such as lack of standards, scalability, and a newer application ecosystem, there are plenty of transformational IoT projects already hard at work. From autonomous car technology to smart city projects such as the recently announced city of San Jose pilot, it’s clear that the IoT is here, and it’s here to stay.

Microsoft: It’s the Internet of Your Things

Barb Edson

Barb Edson, general manager, IoT Cloud Services and Windows Embedded

What is Microsoft’s definition of and vision for IoT?

Microsoft’s point of view is a simple one: The Internet of Things is not some futuristic technology trend. It’s here already in today’s powerful devices, sensors, cloud infrastructure and business intelligence tools. The true value lies in the data. Simply put, when those “things” are connected, they produce large amounts of information that companies can put to use. We call this the Internet of Your Things.

What is Microsoft’s approach/strategy with IoT in terms of product and services offerings?

Through our commitment to the embedded market and intelligent systems, Microsoft has been working for years to help companies tap into data in new ways by connecting their existing IT assets into unique solutions.

When smart devices capture data and relay it to back-end systems and services via the cloud, data is turned into valuable insight for the business. This process is repeated over and over every day by billions of smart devices within intelligent systems, and it’s really about taking the academic theory of IoT and making it actionable for business.

In fact, intelligent systems based on Microsoft technologies are in such high demand that Microsoft recently released a new partner competency to help the industry understand how to build and optimize them for customers.

Most companies can leverage existing technology assets to reap surprising results from IoT right away. Microsoft’s Windows platform already powers everything from specialized industry devices to PCs, phones and servers. The Microsoft Azure cloud service offers massive processing capabilities that can be tied into data storage and analytics tools in Microsoft SQL Server, Azure HD Insight and Power BI for Office 365.

When will IoT become mainstream?

Again, we would argue that IoT is already here today, and well on its way to becoming mainstream, especially in business. Businesses today are facing a convergence of data from diverse sources, perhaps none as great as the potential provided by IoT.

IDC recently predicted the number of “connected things” will reach 212 billion by the end of 2020. As exciting as that may be, connecting these “things” within the IoT universe and harnessing the data can be a complex process for most organizations dealing with heterogeneous operating system environments, varying connectivity protocols and legacy application compatibility. Further, and connectivity aside, there’s also the obvious challenge of being able to draw meaningful insights from the volume of data unleashed by IoT.

Violino is a freelance writer. He can be reached at bviolino@optonline.net

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