A few weeks ago I started to prepare my session for the great meeting of the minds at Cisco Live in San Francisco. I have to confess that at the beginning it felt a bit weird creating a presentation about Internet of Things (IoT), a market that is targeting Operational Technology (OT) decision-makers, for an event that for many years now has been a “mecca” for Information Technology (IT) professionals felt incongruous.
But the more I thought about it, the more excited I got about the opportunity. As the IoT market gets better defined and developed, and grows in size and relevance, it presents an unprecedented opportunity for IT professionals to engage in the conversation and bring in their experience, skills and perspective. The IoT solutions required by OT professionals are ripe for innovation, the type of innovation that IT professionals are great at.
Resilient, scalable and secure converged networks, simplified and automated management, new computing models (Fog) that deliver distributed intelligence, and system-wide application enablement are building blocks for more advanced and smarter solutions for IoT. In a previous blog I talked about some of the characteristics of these new environments, and how the extension of the traditional IT environments outside the “carpeted office” can deliver incredible gains in visibility, automation and control. Think about these examples in terms of business value enabled by Cisco’s IoT portfolio:
- In Manufacturing, better connectivity and distributed intelligence at the edge can increase visibility and control in manufacturing environments. Manufacturers benefit by reducing downtime, providing leading (not lagging) indicators for proactive maintenance, and connecting operational environments to ensure better quality products and minimum waste.
- For Energy Utilities, implementing local control loops over the same converged network not only allows the utility companies to prevent losses and deliver proactive load balancing over the grid, but also enables new business models for these companies. These new business models in turn lower the cost of energy distribution, automate billing and service calls, and provide proactive response to environmental conditions (from tornados to blizzards and anything in the middle) . They can do this by allowing the infrastructure elements to communicate with each other in an automated, instantaneous and reliable way, even when their connection to the Internet connection is down.
But that’s not all. And it’s not just about business value. The IoT solutions that can be delivered by a combination of the know-how of both OT and IT professionals can also greatly improve the quality of life for all of us. Consider these examples:
- In Hospital environments, better care is at the core of their mission, not only because it is critical for their business, but primarily because they deal with the lives of the patients. Working with partners, we have created new solutions for patient monitoring and observation based on advanced video analytics and imaging to provide proactive status of the needs of the patients to the staff that is taking care of them. These new technologies not only empower the hospital staff to make better decisions for the well-being of their patients, but actually increase the quality of the health care provided, improves the productivity of the nurses and doctors, and helps patients to get better sooner. Higher quality healthcare enabled by IoT!
- Cities are getting smarter every day. There is a new generation of citizen services enabled by IoT that were not even possible a few years ago. For example, smart street lighting that not only provides proactive maintenance information for the city (reducing costs and avoiding complaints), but that can also detect the presence of citizens on the sidewalks. With this citizen detection capabilities the streetlights can alter the intensity of lighting. This helps to provide more security to the passers-by, but can save on power operating costs for the city. Smart parking not only helps drivers find parking spots faster (that increases citizen satisfaction) but also reduces pollution in the environment caused by circling and circling a block as they look for parking. Again, better quality of life, thanks to IoT!
So I want to invite you to come and join me during my session at Cisco Live, where I will cover (in even more detail) the basic building blocks for a successful IoT solution implementation, and will explore other cases and examples that can give meaning to IoT in a whole different way to you and your business. I would love to hear what IoT means to you.
And before I forget, we have created a full IoT program for the event that I believe you will find very interesting and informative. Join our IoT experts in technical breakout sessions about IoT architectures, IT/OT convergence and using IoT for better business outcomes, and large enterprises showing how Cisco is helping their business.
Visit the IoT booth to learn about innovative, ruggedized solutions for manufacturing, utilities, transportation, safety and security, and cities. Learn about IoT application enablement, management for IoT deployments, and embedded network solutions for the most demanding environments.
Visit http://www.ciscolive.com/us/internet-of-things/ to find out more about the education and training for IoT that makes Cisco Live such a great investment of your time.
We look forward to seeing you at Cisco Live 2014 in San Francisco!