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Usage Scenario’s driving the Internet of Things – Part 1

The Internet of Things is definitely the hot topic in the networking industry..

The Internet of Things is definitely the hot topic in the networking industry at the moment and the marketing people are falling over themselves to try to define what exactly it is and what it means to their customers so that they can package it up nice and neatly and squeeze it into a 30 second elevator pitch. In my mind however, this is missing the point, trying to define IOT is like trying to pin mercury to the wall, it’s a fluid concept and something that by its very nature means very different things to very different people.

So what exactly ISN’T the Internet of Things,

Well firstly its not a new concept, in fact Arpanet, the technical precursor to what we today refer to as the World Wide Web was actually designed as a global network to connect the worlds smartest machines and supercomputers so that data could be crunched at a level never previously imagined.  It was in effect, Big Data 1960’s style and was definitely early stage IOT.   So fast forward 50 years or so and all of a sudden the machines are ready to take over again and the tech industry’s getting all excited about it .

The second thing that makes IOT different is that unlike traditional networking it’s not Application driven, its Data driven (by definition there are no people so no applications) which means that the use cases driving it are very different too.

The 4 Key Usage Scenario’s for IOT

Just like most major technological advances the IOT industry didn’t just appear overnight, it emerged slowly and steadily from the world of Machine to Machine (M2M) and its first deployments were really just advanced M2M use cases were the complexity of the project needed a more intelligent solution.  Gartner believe (and for the record I agree with them) that this gradual growth will continue and will follow a clear path of ever more complex deployments over the next 5 years until IOT becomes ubiquitous and becomes just part of our life.

This path is as follows:

Phase 1          MANAGE         – Optimise Utilisation of Current Assets

Phase 2          CHARGE          –  Pay per Use

Phase 3          OPERATE       – Remote Operation

Phase 4          EXTEND         – Provide enhanced Digital Services & Content

So what does all this mean ?

Good question. Over the course of the next 4 weeks, I plan to chart each of these stages, map out some potential use cases and where appropriate suggest the technologies that will help deliver them.  I can’t promise a 30 second elevator pitch but then again I don’t work for the Marketing team.


Tune in next week for Phase 1 – MANAGE

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