The Enterprise Prepares for IoT

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Enterprise IT organizations are deeply familiar with the concepts behind the Internet of Things -- connected devices that generate and harvest data and can be monitored to help predict problems, needed maintenance, and replacement. IoT extends that idea beyond the IT infrastructure to an enterprise's other assets such as manufacturing equipment, vehicles, field devices, and even products offered to customers.

It's an idea that has captured a lot of imaginations so far, and the implementations that have gotten the most mainstream attention are things like smart speakers (Alexa Echo and Google Home), smart doorbells, and smart thermostats -- all for consumers.

Business implementation is happening, too, and it has really varied by vertical industries. Smart manufacturing operations "where raw materials come in and finished goods come out without any human hands touching them," is a primary example of a pretty advanced implementation of IOT, according to Intel IoT Group VP and CTO Brian McCarson. The company has implemented such systems in its own semiconductor manufacturing. Intel believes this advanced use of IoT represents the third and most advanced phase of IoT implementations -- a "software-defined autonomous world." The two earlier phases are first, "connecting the unconnected," and second, "building smart and connected things," according to Intel.

Intel's a good example of a company using and promoting IoT, and the technology is gaining momentum elsewhere, too.

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