IoT Reality Check: What Happens When the Software Doesn't Work?

To get the Internet of Things right, you need to get the software right.
By Jyoti Bansal

The Data of Things
On a positive note, while software is a potential Achilles heel in the Internet of Things, it also delivers a hugely valuable, business-transforming asset: data.

The Internet of Things is a huge data-generating machine. At its most fundamental level, something is measured that triggers a response (or no response) over and over again, and every step spews out data. It's the blood in the veins of the IoT. And it's rich with insight.

It can tell you how end users, whether human or machine, are interacting with your things, in minute detail, helping you to remedy weaknesses and exploit opportunities. It can illustrate for you the precise consequences of interruptions or downtime. And it can quantify the contributions the IoT is or isn't making to the business.

Gathering, parsing and leveraging this data is not an easy task, but it is well worth the trouble. Every IoT project should have robust data functionality built in from the start.

The Future Is (Almost) Here and Now
When the Internet of Things works the way it's supposed to, it's virtually transparent to us. Our world melds to our lives, responding to our personal needs and wishes. But it requires trust (and sometimes even a leap of faith). And to gain our trust, it has to work.

It's a lot to get right. Gartner says that this year, more than $2.5 million will be spent every minute on IoT hardware alone. GE already has 10 million sensors installed and sending data from $1 trillion worth of equipment, according to the New York Times. And consumers like me are making our homes, cars and bodies smarter and more connected every day.

The stakes are high. The potential is great. If we get the software right, we can get the Internet of Things right. And a future that was once only the stuff of science fiction will be our reality not decades, but short years from now.

Jyoti Bansal is the founder, executive chairman and chief strategist of AppDynamics, a provider of application performance management software which delivers an end-to-end view of application performance, from the end user to the data center, as well as insights into customer behavior and the correlations between application and business performance. Bansal founded AppDynamics in 2008.

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