There are several developments happening in the technology market that make the Internet of Things (IoT) within reach for a wider audience. The ability to collect, store, analyze and share large amounts of information is truly the key to benefitting from IoT, which requires investment in data storage. Cloud storage, which is the most efficient, scalable and cost effective method for handling massive amounts of data, is dropping in price, partly as a result of a price competitive war between some of the major cloud providers, including Google, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft. Also, physical aspects required for IoT, such as sensors, are not only more affordable, but are more sophisticated and user-friendly. For example, manufacturing facilities now have the ability to gather key real-time information, such as equipment temperature, through devices that attach on to existing machinery, reducing the need for large-scale retrofits of factory floors.
These factors are making it more possible for companies to experiment and run pilot programs with IoT because the cost risk is relatively low, which makes testing the waters more appealing. However, this also adds complexity for IoT consumers as the selection of devices, storage and off the shelf solutions is expanding, making it difficult to discern differences and make decisions that are best for the client company.
Cloud storage, devices and other off the shelf IoT components and solutions will continue to be more affordable and will flood the market. The selection of devices and solutions can be overwhelming for the client, not only in making a decision on what to purchase, but also ensuring the device/solution can be seamlessly integrated into the current IT landscape and appropriate governance measures are established. Because of this, there is growing demand for consulting partners with expertise in physical and technical components of IoT to guide clients through decisions in choosing devices/sensors, storage and solutions to meet the client’s IoT goals.
Erin is the Senior Analyst and Lead for IT Consulting Research for ALM Intelligence