Facilitators for the integration
To spell this out in simple terms, two distinct ecosystems have emerged: the external and the internal. The challenge is to effectively integrate the system of external and internal things. There is, thus, a need for innovation at the edge of both ecosystems to fuse them seamlessly into a whole. Several components must be understood to achieve this.
Cloud services solve the problem of large data storage and analysis. The advantage of Cloud technology is that it allows organizations to leverage Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software asa-Service (SaaS). These services permit dynamic addition of new hardware and software resources, and, also enable high performance without any impact to the existing processes.
Traditional integration mechanisms like adapters and legacy protocols are giving way to next gen options like Representational State Transfer (REST), Message Queue Telemetry Transport (MQTT), TCP and Zigbee. As new devices join the IoT, new protocols will evolve and integration will have to be agile and adaptive. Application program interfaces (APIs) here, become enablers of seamless integration.
As organizations acquire and share data, they open a large number of ports to connect to every possible device and operating system. A number of checks and balances need to be integrated at the edges where external and internal systems become vulnerable. This would be relatively simple to achieve were it not for the fact that as security measures are heightened the trade-off is in terms of speed and agility. Organizations cannot afford to impede velocity of business. Therefore, innovative and light weight security protocols will be required to balance security with agility. IoT will require both – as any one of the two on its own will be insufficient.
Investing in integration
The reality is that there are a vast variety of networks, operating systems, protocols and emerging technologies in use. Standardization across these is impossible to achieve. Smart organizations know this and won’t wait to achieve complete standardization. Instead, they will create integration techniques between systems of differing standards. The integration will ensure profitable use of data.
In the coming months, the IoT strategy of organizations will focus as much on the integration aspect as on storing and managing data, on models and algorithms to analyse it and systems to deploy the insights. As the IoT grows in scale, integration will move up on the organization agenda.