Enterprise IoT Benefits and Challenges
When we think of the internet of things, most people usually fall back to the kinds of devices they're familiar with, such as a Nest thermostat or a Philips Hue smart light. However, today IoT components are finding their way, at lightning speed, into places such as healthcare, the enterprise, and certainly the data center.
Let me give you a specific example. Raritan recently came out with a line of "smart racks" that take environmental monitoring to the next level. These data center–ready IoT technologies are tested to withstand billions of hours of runtime in the world's most data-intensive environments. One of those IoT components are environmental sensors located throughout the rack. From there, they help isolate hot spots, optimize cooling, prevent downtime, and even maintain security through integration with smart locks. Furthermore, these IoT devices gather data, which then feeds into a data center infrastructure management platform, allowing data center and business leaders to make better decisions.
At UPS, IoT sensors help protect the environment by monitoring delivery truck mileage, speed, and overall engine health. Coupled with big data solutions, UPS is also able to effectively monitor packages and optimize entire routes. And, fairly recently, Microsoft and Rolls-Royce collaborated on advanced operational intelligence to airlines. This is similar to what GE is doing with its jet engines. The benefit? Ground crew technicians can identify wear and tear on specific components before the airplane even lands. From there, they can have repair and parts teams ready to cut maintenance windows down dramatically.
By the numbers, according to IDC, the IoT market is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down, with an expected size of $1.4 trillion in 2021. However, when it comes to enterprise adoption of IoT devices, there are concerns. How do you design the right IoT use case? Can it mesh with your existing network and data center systems? Most of all, what about security: How do you process and protect data such as personal identifiable information or personal healthcare information? Organizations want to leverage IoT solutions but are struggling to understand how to design the right architectures and, most importantly, how to leverage and quantify the data that these devices create.
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