I’ve been spending a lot of time talking and thinking about a world in which everything is connected. The Internet of Everything isn’t some futuristic Idea that we are dreaming about, it’s charging forward at incredible speed and everything is being connected. I’d like to look at five characteristics or truths about IOE that are becoming evident:
Naturally, the Internet of Everything brings its share of IT challenges. Data collection starts at the network edge, including a multitude of endpoint devices and sensors in everyday objects that automatically collect, analyze and transmit data—including video—on a massive scale.
For the most part, it is data that has previously gone untapped—a giant superset of the persistent data that is the subject of Big Data today. The velocity and volume of this data make it difficult to bring it together into one place and extract value from it in a timely fashion. A key IT challenge is deciding what data to store (which can be costly) and what data to ignore (which can be a lost opportunity).
For example, high-definition video surveillance cameras combined with data analysis offer retailers insight into everything from facial recognition to age, gender and socioeconomic indicators. Retailers can also use video intelligence to create augmented reality mirrors or spot customers in need and send associates to assist them. However, not all the data from these devices needs to be stored or even analyzed, but rather used in the moment to create interactive engagements with the customers.
To address these challenges, intelligence and automated data processing must be embedded in the network. This intelligence takes the guesswork out of selecting the correct data from the torrent, because the network can filter based on relevance. At the same time, it can prioritize what data to retain and what data to discard based on value policies. This requires a flexible infrastructure where compute, storage, network and security resources can be assigned on the fly where and when needed. In most cases with Data in Motion, the application moves to where the data is, not the other way round.
Another key challenge is security, which remains paramount all the way from the edge to the cloud and back. The rapid deployment of Internet of Things and M2M technologies is leading to a proliferation of devices whose variety, data, complexity and vulnerability go beyond the traditional IT landscape. Along with the tremendous value that can be extracted from Data in Motion come new risks that require network-centric security approaches.
The Internet of Everything brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before, thus providing unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals and countries. We are still in the early stages of evolution for Data in Motion and the impact it will have on all of us. But it is clear that the more knowledge we have, based on meaningful information pulled from a variety of data sources, the more wisdom we can gain and apply. It will profoundly change the world.
I love shopping. I love traveling. I hate going to the hospital. I sometimes like going to the bank (only if it involves the depositing a large check). On the surface, it may seem that there’s no common thread about each of these experiences, however, there actually is a lot in common!
Each of these industries (retail, transportation, healthcare, banking) is becoming more passionate about truly delivering good customer experience and building customer loyalty. Why? Research has established that satisfied customers spend more money “now” and, in the longer term, become more loyal. For example, according to a J.D. Power survey, a delighted traveler is likely to spend 45% more money at the airport than someone who is disappointed with their experience.
Okay, sold! Let’s start delivering “good” experience and start counting the money…right? Not exactly. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.
First of all, what exactly is “good” experience? The answers will vary greatly depending on the industry vertical and brands within a vertical. Hence, one of the major challenges is actually defining “good” experience.
While there are certainly unique attributes to “good” experience in different industries, there is a common theme emerging: the synchronization of physical and digital experience. For example, research by Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, revealed 93% of products sold in the United States are still bought in brick-and-mortar locations. In addition, over 50% of all consumers access (or would like to access) to digital content while shopping in a store, either through digital touch-screens or their own smartphones/tablets. This research reveals that more and more consumers are relying on real-time digital content to make purchasing decisions. In essence, consumers are becoming “informed buyers” during the shopping experience.
Unfortunately, with respect to customer experience, in many companies today the physical and digital worlds still sit across a great divide. Often, these two functions are housed in different organizations and are loosely coupled with respect to operations and culture. While we’ve made significant progress, digital experience is often an after-thought that peacefully co-exists with physical experience.
But, that’s not going to work any more. Consumers are expecting more, and they vote with their wallets. So, start truly synchronizing your digital and physical experiences…or else!
There are indeed a number of challenges in making smart stores, what do you think is most difficult in actually accomplishing this?
In a previous post, we discussed the importance of the rising tide of real-time, sensor-generated data—aka Data in Motion—that will gather momentum as the Internet of Everything emerges. Unlocking the potential of Data in Motion cannot be achieved by analyzing stored data or by examining historical data. Rather, it requires tools and interactions that capture value here and now, in real time.
The intelligent network plays a key role here. It can add contextual information such as location, identity and presence while the data is moving. Value can be extracted and acted upon through policy changes, security enforcement and packet processing, as events occur to create advantage here and now, or even to predict the future. By harnessing the value of Data in Motion through the intelligent network, organizations can make better decisions, deliver enhanced experiences to their customers, partners and employees, and build a competitive advantage over the long term.
For example, to maintain and improve patient care in a cost-effective way, healthcare providers can use Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology to remotely monitor the progress of patients in their homes. Remote monitoring is more efficient and cost effective than having patients repeatedly visit healthcare facilities. As real-time healthcare applications continue to develop, Data in Motion will help patients take more proactive control of their own health, using instant biofeedback to help them modify personal behaviors.
To be clear, Data at Rest is not without value. Indeed, combining it with Data in Motion can produce optimal business outcomes. Data at Rest provides the context for creating the actionable insights from Data in Motion, helping organizations analyze and understand the past while they take contextual action on events in real time.For instance, by tracking a consumer’s real-time location and historical online interaction, a retailer could develop valuable contextual information while enabling store touchpoints with mobile access. With an up-to-the minute view of customers, the retailer could send customized promotions in real time.
And then there’s the opportunity for service providers. For most of them, Data in Motion represents a largely untapped opportunity, despite the wealth of data flowing through their networks. Think of the potential. Their networks and users are constantly generating huge amounts of real-time and near real-time data, packed with details like location, content and subscriber information—much of which can be analyzed and correlated in real-time to create usage and traffic patterns, network congestion analytics, media behavior, dwell times analytics and more. A service provider, for example, could extract detailed data such as a user’s device type, data quota, recent Internet activity and current connection speed. Armed with this real-time intelligence, the provider could offer highly targeted mobile advertising or sponsored data—and charge a premium for it.
Harnessing the potential of Data in Motion creates business opportunities but also new IT challenges. In a next post, we will look at some of these challenges and how to best address them.
Last week I attended the Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise (CITE) expo in San Francisco – home of delicious seafood and great surfing. At the conference I had a chance to talk about the changing tide of IT and how we can prepare for the next big swell.
Throughout history there are moments in time that define innovation.
In 1939, two guys in a garage built the first audio oscillator. It was sold to Disney and helped create Fantasia. In 1973, Motorola built the first mobile phone. It weighed 2.5 pounds and was 9 inches long. It let you talk for 30 minutes. Then you needed 10 hours to charge it. This was innovation at its finest.