The Internet of Things (IoT) bridges the cyber and the physical worlds. The resulting ’cyberphysical systems’ are poised to disrupt many businesses and bring computation seamlessly into our everyday lives.
Today you have low cost but highly capable sensors, and advances in wired and wireless communication technology and network protocols that permit you to better connect sensors to the Internet. You have an array of tools, platforms, and analysis techniques that can process large amounts of sensor data and present meaningful insights. You can send data and receive insights through various devices such as your mobile phone, a tablet on your fridge, your car, or your computer. A close connection between things and humans, the cyber world and the physical world, has thus been established via sensors and devices. And that is why the potential for transformation is immense. Every industry will create new business models and offer new services to customers with the Internet of Things.
Today the IoT landscape looks fragmented, with disparate devices, information, and platforms from a range of vendors. IoT services are largely provided by device manufacturers. However, businesses need to engage with different devices and applications. How can such complexity be handled? We believe that a strong backbone that enables many functions is crucial to the delivery of IoT services. If your company wants to offer sensor based services, such as healthcare monitoring, or help your transport and logistics department trace vehicles or packages, you need a platform that allows device monitoring, application development, and data management. This threatens to lock down the realization of value from the IoT. Interoperability holds the key.
While there are attempts to develop protocols and standards, we believe that a central piece is a versatile Business to Business (B2B) sensor cloud platform that enables sensor data management as well as application building. This paper demonstrates the need for such a platform, and how organizations can use it to offer new services or improve their operations.