IoT - Beyond the Buzzword (Inside Exosite: Business Series)
by Exosite, on June 28, 2016
Conversations about IoT are typically awkward or inconclusive.
I panic when a friend or family member asks me about my job. Why? Because I can’t just say “Oh, I work for an IoT platform company” without first having to explain the Internet of Things to somebody who knows nothing about it or has preconceived notions that tend to complicate the discussion. My career as a solutions architect means I'm very comfortable talking about technology-driven solutions. For whatever reason, the topic of IoT is typically met with something that’s between a blank stare and a knowing nod of acknowledgement that says: “I think I’ve heard of that."
Ryan: “... well, Exosite is an IoT company - we make an IoT platform and we help…”
Aunt Judy: “IoT?”
Ryan: “OH yeah, that’s the acronym for the Internet of Things.”
Aunt Judy: “Internet of… things?”
<Ryan takes a deep breath>
Ryan: “Yeah, silly right? Well it’s sorta like… well, do you have a smart thermostat at home? Because if you have one of those and a smart phone…”
Aunt Judy: “Smart thermostat?”
Talking about IoT is difficult because it’s a moving target.
It’s hard to encapsulate just how entrenched and far-reaching IoT has become outside of the public eye. The behind-the-scenes nature of IoT makes it hard to talk about without over-simplifying IoT into a single use case.
Protip: I find it easier to first focus on what IoT isn’t to provide some context before going into other explanations.
- Like the Internet, IoT isn’t a product that you can buy: “Excuse me sir, but may I buy three Internets please?”
- IoT isn’t an industry: You don’t see the IoT index on the DOW and NASDAQ going up and down based on rising fuel and labor costs.
- IoT isn’t a fad to make remote-control mobile apps for lazy consumers: The public-facing IoT applications are typically home automation or appliance apps, yet this represents less than 20% of all IoT applications.
IoT is a trend that is affecting all industries to varying degrees.
No single industry has the market cornered on IoT applications. For years, IoT would have been considered machine to machine applications by many engineers. With the availability of low-cost Internet and wireless chip-sets, many manufacturing and commercial companies see three rungs on the IoT application ladder.
- Condition monitoring: What is the status of a thing that is somewhere else?
- Remote control and automation: If you can know the status of a thing someplace else, can you have two-way communication and give it remote commands using the same channel?
- Data-driven insights and predictive analysis: If you can collect enough data from enough sources and turn it over to data scientists, you can monetize your knowledge. It might be possible to learn about conditions that lead to equipment failure, patterns in human performance, and ultimately how to change or influence behavior in unforeseen ways.
IoT is growing in popularity, as 6 out of 10 companies are now experimenting with IoT.¹
As the barrier to entry decreases, there will be a period of accelerated growth in each industry. More companies and industries are starting to see greater adoption of IoT-based solutions, which means time-to-market is now top-of-mind.
The barrier is dropping because of IoT companies, like Exosite, that are focused on creating products and services focused on IoT enablement. Exosite is giving developers free access to its Murano IoT platform, where they can experiment without all of the typical overhead. Having access to a software resource like Murano, which provides an end-to-end ecosystem to help customers develop, deploy, and manage connected products, replaces the need for companies to traditionally hire and train specialists capable of building and maintaining their own IoT infrastructure. Based on conservative estimates, that’s over $100,000 in monthly salaries that would be paid out to build and manage legacy infrastructure, which can now be purchased for a fraction of the cost.
Confusion over IoT will go away with the establishment of connected brands.
Confusion over IoT is only a phase and IoT will be commonplace as more businesses transition from a company that makes one or two connected products into a household name in connected brands. The market is voting with their pocketbook and the trends are pointing to IoT. More information is better, more control is optimal, and automation and the reduction of human error is an easy ROI to justify.
Be sure to visit exosite.com/murano where we’ll regularly present new videos and blog content from our Inside Exosite series, featuring Exosite experts answering real customer questions about IoT. Please find us on social media and submit your own questions for our team to answer. For additional information about Murano and Exosite’s professional services, or to speak directly with an Exosite team member, see the links below.