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Executive Brief: How a Smart Data Framework Can Better Shape Your IoT Business

White Paper

Introduction

There is no doubt the Internet of Things (IoT) will shape our future, including how we shop, how we consume power at home and at work, and the ways our cities grow and evolve. This Internet of “things” consisting of electronics, software and physical sensors promises to connect us in ways we never imagined.

Thanks to the IoT, today’s leaders are being challenged to reimagine their businesses. And while many executives may be wary of the unknown, the risks of adapting to IoT are much less intimidating than the possibility of being left behind. In 2016, IoT will shake up virtually every market, forcing out antiquated business models and replacing them with automated and dynamic methodologies.

As IoT applications continue to expand, so will the number and types of devices, and the amount of data generated from them. To handle this explosive growth, organizations need a smart data framework that can collect, enrich and integrate IoT data at scale and with context.  This insight will allow them to make strategic business decisions with confidence.

This whitepaper addresses the importance of collecting every bit of data from IoT devices and their supporting networks, compute resources and applications, and then normalizing it so it can be easily analyzed, visualized and integrated. It also makes the case for infrastructure management as the best option for a smart data framework.

More IoT Devices Drive the Need for a Smart Data Framework.

Statistics tell the story of the growth of IoT connected devices:

  • According to Juniper Research, the number of IoT connected devices will be 38.5 billion in 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015.
  • PR Newswire states that AT&T had nearly 22 million IoT connected devices across the globe as of March 31, 2015.
  • Since early 2015, AT&T has reached IoT agreements with 136 companies from the agriculture, automotive, aviation, energy, healthcare and transportation industries.
  • IDC has predicted that 2016 will become the "Year of the IoT Developer," with more than 250,000 unique IoT applications created by 2020.

As the number and types of connected “things” grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to integrate these new technologies in a way that scales with infrastructure and business needs.

To keep up with this constant growth and diversity, you need a smart data framework that can:

A smart data framework will enable you to stop worrying about how to ingest massive amounts of data from a variety of sources and scale across the data center. Not only will it monitor sensor data, it will give you visibility across all layers of your infrastructure. It will also allow you to to enrich, contextualize and baseline this data, helping assure not only the integrity of your IoT data, but the integrity of the service, as well.

  • easily ingest any type of data
  • elastically scale
  • be device, infrastructure and protocol agnostic

By 2018, 60% of Global 1000 companies will integrate IT and OT at the technology, process, security and organization levels to fully realize the value of their IoT investments.

IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Internet of Things 2016 Predictions

IT teams regularly face the dilemma of having to build new and different tools to meet the data collection needs of different domains. They may have one tool to get data from hypervisors, one tool to grab data from network switches, one for cloud platform data, one for IoT sensor data, and so on. Everything is siloed. This means the data that can give you insights into your business is locked in a silo and, more often than not, excluded from further analysis.

It’s time to break the data free. With a scalable smart data framework, you can get data from various sources that is reliable and accurate, without dedicating resources to build new tools every time a new group of devices is added to the infrastructure. This allows you to maintain your business agility and achieve the depth of visibility that your analytics tools require.

Today’s Reality: Scale or Fail

Whether you’re an enterprise or service provider deploying IoT, you likely have concerns about how to achieve maximum scalability while managing down cost. But in an IoT world, how do we even measure scale? And will your current collection platform scale with your enterprise when the number of IoT data points needed for analytics doubles in the next year? Or quadruples in the next three?

More importantly, can you add new data sources quickly, reliably and at scale as the types of devices, the methods of communication (XMPP, MQTT, HTTP, etc. ) and the kinds of data structures grow?

By 2019, 45% of IoT-created data will be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to, or at the edge of, the network.

IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Internet of Things 2016 Predictions

Let’s say you’re monitoring a waterway. You want as close to real-time flow data as possible. When you look at your dashboard, you want to be able to display granular pressure, density and flow speed metrics.

You’re being flooded (literally) with data, so you need a platform that does more than just provide collection. You need a device and technology agnostic platform to provide a smart data framework – collect at scale, normalize and export in near real-time – to allow for insights that can help you maximize service to customers and your business potential.

SevOne as a Logical Solution

Smart data frameworks are the logical evolution of digital infrastructure monitoring. Enterprises can no longer rely on an army of disparate data collection tools; they need a reliable platform that can collect data from any source and normalize it at scale. Business analytics tools, while great at providing insights across IoT data sets, are not well-equipped to handle the collection of IoT data from so many disparate sources and protocols.

“The data produced by the ‘things’ of the IoT will provide opportunities for optimization and revenue generation. But the analytical capabilities of mainstream business intelligence (BI) tools are not ready to handle the influx of IoT data. In many cases, infrastructure management tools will need to act as an intermediary. In the service provider industry, this concept is often referred to as data mediation. Many infrastructure management systems will be able to collect and analyze data from IoT objects, and then present this analysis to BI and big data analytics tools for advanced analysis. Enterprises will need to assess the abilities of their management systems vendors to not only ingest and analyze IoT data, but also the ability to export this data to third-party analytics environments.”
-Shamus McGillicuddy, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Management Associates

Many people don’t realize that with SevOne, you already have a smart data framework. It can collect any time series data from any source and type, and scale it intuitively with your infrastructure growth. One SevOne customer, for instance, collects and monitors billions of data points about their data center energy consumption every day.

SevOne Availability Report

SevOne was used by a utilities provider to report on the availability (RF signal strength) of IoT sensors that monitor water delivery infrastructure for a major city in Asia.

At the time of collection, you can perform real-time analysis that provides specific insights, such as trends regarding infrastructure health or deviations in your specific sensor data, and also prove the growth and behavior of your infrastructure. Plus, you can easily export data to third party business intelligence tools for more advanced, industry-specific detail. This combined insight is crucial for optimizing and automating your business infrastructure and processes.

The payback is immediate. You can now integrate both smart and non-smart data from any source, regardless of protocol and format. From there, you can normalize and export it.

Conclusion

A smart data framework – which is both product-agnostic and proven to scale – can deliver real-time insights that will help maximize the potential of your business. So, free your data. Uncover answers to old and new business roadblocks with this insight. Assure the IoT services and SLAs with customers.

SevOne’s performance monitoring platform is extremely capable of smart data mediation. Its extensibility and scalability is limitless. That’s why it’s a good idea to let the platform collect data and provide real-time analysis of service growth, sensor and device performance, projected growth and so on. When looking for more complex or industry-specific analytics, turn to your third party business intelligence tools to provide granular, business-critical data that will help you automate and optimize your business.

Read our related Executive Brief on 5 Questions You Need Answered to Assure IoT Service Delivery.

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