Moor Insights & Strategy senior analyst John Fruehe says more focus should be placed on the “what” of the IoT rather than the “how.”
“All of the strategy and shiny objects in the world won’t help if the data isn’t accurate, secure and actionable,” Fruehe wrote in a recent Forbes article. “The data should always drive the strategy; the implementation tail should not be wagging the data dog. This strategy needs to start at the business level based on identifiable business needs and then filter down to the products.”
However, emphasizes Fruehe, data is only as accurate as the system, sensor and the ability to separate the signal from the noise. Plus, data must be securely collected, with integrity maintained as it moves throughout the system.
“Data is collected, brought through a gateway and then moved through a series of servers and applications before it finally comes to rest in the middle of the datacenter, where it can be analyzed and acted upon,” he said. “Each step along the way requires security and consistency to ensure data integrity is maintained.”
More specifically, says Fruehe, there is plenty of focus on security and maintaining systems within the datacenter – although data is often more vulnerable at the sensor/collector level or initial gateway.
“One cannot truly ensure the accuracy of the data unless it can be secured through the whole process,” he noted. “This is often a challenge as security embedded at the sensor level is often the most difficult to implement and maintain; especially, as in the case of vehicles, if the manufacturer loses physical custody of the product to the end user.”
In addition, says Fruehe, there is little point in capturing, structuring and processing data if it will just be filed away without action.
“IoT data should be used as a real-time feed to help hone decisions and accelerate action, driving agility in the company,” he added.
Indeed, Intel VP and General Manager Ron Kasabian recently described the extraction of meaningful information from raw data as a “key enabler” of the new digital service economy.
“In this new era, an organization’s competitive edge increasingly hinges on its ability to turn an avalanche of data into actionable insights that improve operations and guide the creation of essential new products and services,” he wrote in an official Intel blog post.
According to Kasabian, Big Data analytics isn’t limited to Web 2.0 businesses or high-tech powerhouses. Rather, the opportunity for pervasive analytics and insights spans virtually all industries—from healthcare to transportation, from banking to manufacturing.
“With powerful analytics solutions, physicians can diagnose illnesses faster and create personalized treatment plans,” Kasabian explained. “Retailers can better understand buying behaviors to stock up on the products people are most likely to need. Car manufacturers can use predictive failure analysis to make repairs proactively—before customers find themselves stuck on the side of the road.”
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