The Convergence of IT with the Internet of Things Innovation
As an experienced Design Engineer, I will admit that IT evokes visions of a solitary group of individuals working in draconian conditions in dark rooms in the basement of corporate buildings filled with non-descript racks of network hardware humming away in secured rooms. However, as part of my evolution, I have come full circle, watching the explosion of product innovation converging with the IT world and how critical this relationship is.
IoT, the Internet of things, is described as a product with the ability to process data via sensor and telemetry and to exchange data using any number of communication protocols. We have seen exponential growth in product innovations in terms of devices and peripherals that have been highly disruptive across many industries and changed almost every aspect of our lives. What tends to get lost in the excitement and glamour of these innovations is that the fundamental IT tenants, such as ensuring devices connect with secured protocols and the ability to analyze relevant streams of data in a timely manner, are still the central structure that allows this product innovation to succeed and continue to flourish.
Many product innovations now rely on the collection and analysis of data that allow for predictable outcomes, decisions that create real business value, and a better overall user experience
One example of the convergence of IT with IoT is in the home alarm business. The product innovation began modestly with the ability to turn the simplest function of the door knocker or doorbell into a device that takes snapshots and videos of activity and can allow individuals to have direct conversations with visitors and guests behind the privacy of a door or remote location. The disruptive product innovations that followed were simply astounding: the integration of motion-activated cameras, motion-activated lights, proximity sensors, motion detectors, shock detectors, smoke detectors, water detectors, and other Smart Home technologies. However, none of these incredible innovations can be of any value without reliable, secured communication protocols and analysis and screening of reams of telemetric data. In almost all cases, the end user does not care to know how it works but that it works reliably and that it gives relevant, timely information that is easy to interpret and react to and allows the end user to make good decisions. Think about some of the questions we now ask when the doorbell is rung: Do I need to know who is in front of my door? Is it someone I need to talk to? Do I need to watch a video of the transaction on cloud storage? All these incredible innovations are made possible with the convergence of IT and Product Innovation.
The lexicon of IT, “Connectivity,” “Big Data,” and “Quality of Service” are now standard requirements for many smart IoT devices. Embracing the idea that IT and IoT innovation need each other to succeed is now fundamental to creating thoughtful new products and services. Successful organizations will embrace the idea that IT and IoT innovation have indeed converged.