Monday, 10 November 2014

Internet of things

Next session is from Nick Jones about the Internet of Things (IoT).

Lots of different types of things:
Identifiable things. Tell you what they are but not much else. Eg RFID tag
Sensing things eg weighing scales
Controllable sensing things eg drones
Complex autonomous things eg high end BMW
Complex webs of things. Collections of collaborating things. Eg smart city. Controlling traffic and parking

All driving business innovation.

What technologies will be used to implement IoT?
There will be new architectures. Gateways to allow connection between things. IoT middleware.
Also need new networking and communication technologies. Wireless will be key, but different wireless needed. Needs to be scaleable, different ranges, capacity, good battery life ( up to 5-10 years)
Are new networks emerging which are optimised for IoT.
No single technology will satisfy all requirements. Could be at least 10 networks used.
Cellular networks will be important because they have wide area coverage. But are challenges including data subscription models, difficult to do multinational contracts, often locked to single carrier. Cellular operators will have to make changes before they play a major role in IoT.
Cost of component technologies used to build IoT is dropping rapidly eg sensors, GPS, accelerometers, chips. More things will be made intelligent.
Operating systems and programming techniques will change.
Big data and analytics will be key capability, especially real time stream analytics.

What will IoT mean for us as CIOs?
It will affect all of us. Need to take it seriously, soon.
Need to look at new skills needed to master embedded software development, platforms and cloud services, integration with our ERP systems, mobile apps.
Need a skills strategy - what will we do in house, what will we outsource and what partners will we work with. Are vendors with specialist skills who we could partner with eg systems integrators. Don't do everything in house.

What is our IoT strategy? How can we improve current services or develop new ones? Analysing data might suggest new products or services. Think about how making things more intelligent might improve our relationship with customers. Use intelligence in something to improve it. Understand where IoT might fit in our business.

Are lots of challenges in IoT. Standards are very immature, lots of them and battlegrounds emerging. Objects could be long lived. Consumer privacy and trust.

Think about privacy and security from day 1.
Smart objects know sensitive information eg is your house occupied, are you sick?
"Things" use platforms that can't be secured.
Hijacking things has value eg door locks.
Wireless is ubiquitous but insecure.
Many new things are being developed by innovators with weak security understanding eg on Kickstarter by tiny companies
Ancillary platforms and services pose security risks, eg android.
Need to do full comprehensive security and privacy analysis.

So, what could we use IoT for? Are there "things" that we could make smart to improve our services to students for example? Could we increase the number of self diagnosing things to reduce our Helpdesk calls? Our printers already do this. What else could we do?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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