Internet of Things: The Journey from Concept to Reality

The IoT is about far more than just hardware, smart devices and connectivity technologies.
By Sameer Bhatnagar and Sapan Shah
May 11, 2016

The Internet of Things, a technology ecosystem of sensor components that communicate data via Internet protocols, delivering intelligent, measurable information to improve overall efficiency for many types of organizations and even for consumers, is becoming a hot subject for discussion these days. The concept of the IoT has revolutionized the way in which organizations across industry verticals interact with their customers, and helps them to increase operational efficiency and optimize business outcomes.

Thanks to miniaturization and falling costs, IoT sensors can be integrated into homes, workplaces and public places. This process enables objects to connect and manifest themselves over the internet. In addition, any object can be a data source in the Internet of Things. The IoT is not a revolutionary or innovative concept—it is an evolutionary perception, equivalent to the evolution of current networking technologies, such as the internet, service platforms and wireless.

Sameer Bhatnagar (left) and Sapan Shah
When the IoT concept was first introduced in 1999, there were many questions about which types of wireless communication modes should be incorporated into devices, and about the changes that would need to be made to the existing infrastructure to support a connected ecosystem with millions of connected devices.

Fortunately, many of these uncertainties are now gone, and the falling cost and size of sensors has made them more accessible. Sensors are the most important components of the IoT ecosystem, because they generate information about events or changes in variables, such as temperature levels. Additionally, the introduction and evolution of the Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) standard is driving the demand for connected technologies across organizations.

The deployment of IPv6 has shown a positive impact on IoT ecosystems. High-speed network connectivity, such as 3G, 4G, 5G and Wi-Fi, has created many new options for organizations, which can now leverage connected devices for faster and more efficient communications. Cloud platforms also present a perfectly cost-effective and easily deployable alternative for storing, managing and analyzing a huge amount of data in real time. Cloud-computing technologies are providing companies a way in which to connect traditional information systems to IoT-enabled devices.

The IoT, in combination with cloud-computing and big-data technologies, is creating lucrative opportunities for organizations. All industry verticals are undergoing a huge transformation in a bid to move toward affordable, accessible and quality services for their customers. New applications and use cases, a result of cutting-edge technology innovations, are being developed to address changing industry needs. The increasing number of connected devices and the proliferation of smartphones have contributed significantly to the rise of the IoT.

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