IoT – the ‘Talking Power’ of the inanimate ‘things’!

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IoT – the ‘Talking Power’ of the inanimate ‘things’!

What is the hullabaloo all about?

IoT is the interconnectedness of anything and everything, it is a concept wherein any ‘device’ can have the power to switch ‘on’ and ‘off’ to the Internet. An object with an IP address can be given the ability to automatically collect and transmit data over a connection. The ability of such devices to ‘talk’ and send messages to each other has the potential of scaling ‘smartness’ to a whole new paradigm where everything from wearables, home systems, vehicles, roads, or just about anything are able to communicate; where device-device relationships are as seamless as thing-people and people-people relationships

The IoT revolution has great potential for a smarter world. In the world of governance, it can lead to a ‘smart city’ where energy is saved, the efficiency of systems is improved and wastage is minimized. Machines in factories can be controlled via IoT. It can empower businesses to deliver personalized user experiences in almost every sphere – healthcare, education, hospitality, shopping, home automation, to name a few.

The business opportunities of IoT

Industries can benefit greatly from the access to real-time data thrown up by the IoT devices. This combined with smart data analytics can help them monitor the usage and performance of their equipment and resources. This would help bring down costs and improve performance. It can also help businesses plan how to improve efficiency and make informed decisions that align with their business goals. IoT is a stepping stone towards convergence of people, processes and things for an enterprise’s ecosystem.

Utility businesses like HVAC, Maintenance & Service industries,  Manufacturing, Distribution, infrastructure Industries have vast footprints. IoT can help streamline centralized monitoring of their operations and increase real-time visibility by boosting data collation from various points on the ground.

The implementation journey for industries

Industries can start their IoT journey with a planned step-by-step strategy. The phased approach would need to enable the ‘devices’ to talk. These can be achieved by using smart sensors, beacons, RFID etc., and ride on a smooth a high-speed internet connectivity to drive the IoT implementation.

Hardware without intelligent support from software is of limited use. There is, therefore, a need for a smart IoT platform where the routers, devices, and services can be simply latched on to create a hub to facilitate the exchange of huge volumes of data. Software apps and service modules need to have high computational speed, storage capabilities and intelligence to sift out meaningful insights. With data analytics, Big Data, and cloud systems supporting IoT, it is possible for industries to move from reactive to predictive and preventive models for operations.

Where to make a start?

There are many platforms and services from leading brands in the global software arena that are boosting the IoT enablement for companies, big or small. A conglomerate of all stakeholders is emerging on the global stage, and joint initiatives are focusing to define standardizations to enable seamless interconnectedness across open and closed networks.

There are platforms such as Microsoft Azure that can provide the basic structure for a smooth and rapid IoT onboarding. The Azure IoT Suite, for instance, allows preconfigured solutions for capturing and analyzing data from across multiple operating systems. The existing systems and technical capabilities of an enterprise can be easily integrated with the Azure IoT Suite to deliver a seamless intelligent experience. The power of remote monitoring is achieved using the SDK, which can enable companies to scale from a few interconnected devices with limited functionality to large scale deployment across the globe with a unified centralized monitoring and control.  With total confidentiality of cloud-device communication, the system’s integrity is maintained and secure.

The end-to-end IoT advantage

The Microsoft suite provides end-to-end IoT solutions to create connected products that promote digital models for business success. With cloud based solutions, you can leverage building, using and maintaining smart products.

Smooth SaaS based end-to-end IoT Microsoft solutions enable companies to adopt cost-effective solutions, with the power to control expenses as per scaling and actual usage (PAY-AS-YOU-GO model). With IoT, enterprises can increase their reach and better understand their customers’ real needs, thereby opening new business opportunities to meet those needs. The systems on the Microsoft backbone are secure and ensure that stringent security standards are followed for sensitive business data that flows through the IoT networking devices and applications. IoT services can collect data from devices and send it back to the cloud, where the data can be uploaded and analysed via smart data analytical tools. Microsoft provides a framework on which dedicated applications can also be built to customize the usage if this data.

The last mile connectivity for the IoT journey of your business needs the expertise to customize the Azure services to suit your needs. Building IoT apps for your business requires through analysis of your business scenarios, system, operations, and processes. Techminds has a deep hands-on in the field of IoT across many industries, having devised and developed cutting-edge software solutions to enable their clients to utilize their full business potential.

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Mani Subrahmanyam
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