Category Archives: Technology

Core Obstacles to the Industrial Internet of Things [Expert Report]

Internet of Things

Just as the Internet of Things is expected to completely transform our daily lives, the Industrial Internet of Things will overhaul traditional processes in the public and private sector. However, five critical challenges must be overcome.

When most of us consider the Internet of Things (IoT), the first thing we focus on is household goods, wearable devices, or maybe cars – the consumer side of the third-platform computing revolution. However, many of the most stunning advances are being made in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), where the technology will change the ways that cities are structured and managed; agriculture is conducted; power is created and fed to end users; and products are built and shipped.

Although the transformative power of the IIoT is extraordinarily exciting, it’s not going to be easy. Understanding of cloud systems has become more refined over time, so technologists have a better sense of how to approach these systems. However, major hurdles still remain, per a 2015 analysis by National Instruments.

What Is the Industrial Internet of Things?

Um, what are we talking about again? You can think of the Internet using the power of all the content and websites for everyone’s mutual benefit. In a similar manner, you can think of the cloud as a network of servers that uses the power of the entire network for the good of all its users. The IIOT is another variation on this same theme, creating a patchwork of integrated systems that share data, insights, and functionalities to boost productivity.

One obvious example of a device within the Industrial Internet of Things would be a mechanism on a shopfloor that can gauge fluctuations to know when parts should be replaced. The device’s big data-empowered, cloud virtual machine-based predictive work could avoid downtime that can sometimes cost millions.

Airbus has chosen to get ahead of the crowd and dive headfirst into the IIoT. “They’re adding intelligence to their tools, intelligence to their drills and fastening machines,” said National Instruments VP Eric Starkloff. “They’re adding robotic machines that can work and interact side-by-side with humans.”

One scenario would be a worker noticing that a nut must be tightened. Her smart glasses could tell her exactly what the nut is and where it is within the physical environment.  That same data can then be passed to the smart drill she uses so that it can adapt to fit the particular size nut. The beauty would be that all the systems are connected, so inventory would be adjusted to reflect components needed for the fix.

Manufacturing plants are just one small part of the IIoT. It will also be used in various other scenarios such as allowing buildings to use energy more efficiently and cities to switch the timing of traffic signals in real-time to reduce traffic jams.

Here, though, are the hurdles:

Data Integrity

As indicated above, IIoT uses the same basic framework as the Internet – you are connecting worldwide systems. However, the Industrial Internet of Things has stronger controls.

“When dealing with precision machines that can fail if timing is off by a millisecond,” argued the whitepaper, “adhering to strict requirements becomes pivotal to the health and safety of the machine operators, the machines and the business.”

Standards are needed, and some IT groups are working to create ones based off those used for audio/video synchronization. As the overarching guidelines become more reliable and the integrity of data becomes increasingly confident, emergent technologies such as vehicle-to-vehicle will become exponentially more strong (with interconnected rather than disparate information).

Scalability

Focusing on interoperability and scalability is the only way that IIoT users will be able to take full advantage of the scalability potential.

Typically a manufacturer’s system is expanded through the addition of black boxes or the construction of a specialized end-to-end platform.

Black boxes don’t allow for the real-time scalability that can optimize your efficiency and predict part failure. End-to-end services can be contained by proprietary blocking.

“If you’ve got a lot of black box systems, if they don’t communicate well together,” Starkloff offered, “then you’re missing the whole point of the Industrial Internet.”

Security

Tens of thousands of sensors can be used to build IIoT systems, which means that the threat surface for hacking grows exponentially. You aren’t just worried about them taking information out but also plugging false numbers into your database, potentially leading to disaster. For example, the smart power grid could be a target for terrorism. Criminals might even get nasty and make you rock hard to AC/DC.

Forward-Facing Design

The pieces of the Industrial Internet must not be rigid but built to adjust to new advancements and standards. The ability for seamless software updating and parts upgrading is critical.

Adaptation

Your system must be built with interoperability in mind, with a fully scalable real-time network. By building the entire system on the same cloud infrastructure, you no longer have to worry about the hardware component. You can center yourself squarely on software operability as needed.

A Virtual Machine for your IIoT Project

Note how the report argues for the use of the same infrastructure for building your IIoT application so that you have less moving parts as you grow.

Superb Internet is built to meet strict industrial standards, with guesswork-free, PassMark-rated cloud servers.

By Kent Roberts

Don’t Be Cynical: Understanding Benchmarking & the PassMark Rating

Benchmarking

  • What is a Benchmark? It’s 4 Things
  • Cynicism about Benchmarks
  • Benchmarking to Remain Competitive
  • Benchmarking & Competitor Rresearch – Comparison Chart
  • Three Types of Benchmarking
  • Why We Use Passmark

What is a Benchmark? It’s 4 things

A benchmark is basically a guidepost with which you can gauge something. When surveyors use the term bench mark, they are referring to a permanent mark that has a verified elevation and can therefore be used to determine elevation of any other point.

In cloud and general IT, the meaning of benchmark is actually fourfold:

Benchmark definition #1: A scenario of established parameters that serves as a level playing field with which you can test hardware or software.

“PC magazine laboratories frequently test and compare several new computers or computer devices against the same set of application programs, user interactions, and contextual situations,” explained technologist Margaret Rouse.

In this case, the benchmark is all of the tools, processes, stipulations, and constraints of the standardized test environment.

Benchmark definition #2: An application that has been built to supply metrics on specific software.

Benchmark definition #3: A technology or approach that has high awareness among users and can be used as a reference point for comparison purposes.

Benchmark definition #4: A system of guidelines that establish criteria through which performance can be determined.

That last definition is the one that’s of the most interest to cloud hosting companies and to their customers. For instance, our cloud plans have a specified total Passmark performance rating per core ranging from 156.25 to 625.

Cynicism about Benchmarks

The one thing to keep in mind about benchmarks that are used in test environments is that they don’t always accurately represent true day-to-day operation. In some crowds, the failure of some benchmark programs to have any serious validity is a reason to forget the whole thing.

Technologist Eric Raymond is completely dismissive of benchmarks, calling them “an inaccurate measure of computer performance” and arguing that “[i]n the computer industry, there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and benchmarks.”

Although we agree with Raymond that some benchmarks are nonsense, we believe strongly that the PassMark rating provides an objective standard, allowing us to create cloud virtual machines that fit your needs and your budget.

Benchmarking to Remain Competitive

Before we get into the specifics of what makes PassMark the highest-quality system available, let’s see how the ratings fit within benchmarking as a broad business concept.

In that context, benchmarking is the delineation of ideal performance, as exhibited internally or by any organization that can then be used for comparison. Once the benchmark is compared to a system or process, the company can identify weaknesses and make improvements.

In this sense (more elaborate than a CPU performance test), benchmarking is incredibly complex, and it typically requires permissions. Usually organizations have a data policy that limits the type of information you can access. If you are within a large enterprise, other groups have probably started this process even if yours hasn’t, allowing you to branch off from their efforts.

“Benchmarking is not just a matter of making inquiries to other companies or touring and documenting another company’s facilities or processes,” commented DeLeeuw Associates consultant J. DeLayne Stroud. “[A] company should not limit the scope to its own industry, nor should benchmarking be a one-time event.”

Benchmarking & Competitor Research – Comparison Chart

Although this general benchmarking effort can definitely give you a competitive advantage, it should not be misconstrued as competitor research. Here is a basic comparison chart of the two approaches:

Benchmarking Competitor Research
Sustainable changes leading to continuous results Symptom-targeting, “Band-Aid” solution to quickly handle competitive threat
Collaboration to share insights May fall under the umbrella of corporate espionage
Necessary to remain a leader in the marketplace Can be positive but is nonessential
Changing to meet expectations once you have studied leading approach Mimicking the efforts of another organization

Three Types of Benchmarking

Roughly speaking, benchmarking can be categorized as internal, competitive, or strategic.

Internal benchmarking – This approach is employed when an organization wants to share its best practices between different departments. You also may have to use this type of benchmarking if you want to avoid competitors and can’t find a similar scenario in another industry.

Competitive benchmarking – With this style, you take a look at the top of your industry so that you can develop a better sense of ideal performance.

Strategic benchmarking – This category “is used when identifying and analyzing world-class performance,” said Stroud. “This form of benchmarking is used most when a company needs to go outside of its own industry.” Many businesses use the Hoshin process for strategic planning, which matches the company’s objectives to benchmarks of top companies. Those companies are frequently not within the same industry.

Why We Use Passmark

Although benchmarking as general analysis is more complex than CPU comparison, standardized approaches essentially allow for competitive benchmarking of IaaS cloud servers. In this context, Raymond’s cynicism is understandable: much of it is worthless. However, we believe that one system is incredibly useful for us to describe our plans and for you to know what you’re getting.

Determining the amount of gigahertz and other parameters across different CPU generations is meaningless, and that’s the basis of some benchmarks. PassMark is the only practical and objective comparison of the actual performance of different CPU. See the “PassMark per core” row in each of our cloud plans.

NOTE: To read Part Two of this article, please click HERE.

By Kent Roberts

Cloud Games 101: Be the Disruptor, Not the Disrupted

Business Friendly Cloud

  • How Does Disruption Occur?
  • Know Your Disruptor – It’s Not that Guy
  • Can Tradition Defend Against Disruption?
  • Get Intimate

How Does Disruption Occur?

Airbnb, Uber, and Lending Club each have made extraordinary penetration into standardized, established industries. That disruption is not limited to just a few industries, though. Enterprise-ready cloud systems make it possible for that same type of disruption to be replicated throughout world markets. That’s why digital consultant Greg Satell has suggested that cloud may be the most disruptive technology of all time.

What industries are currently being disrupted by cloud, and what are typical characteristics of disruptors? After all, you want to be the disruptor, not the disrupted.

One of the major players in this process is the industry cloud. The combination of enablers and disruptors fuels the astronomical growth of this segment of computing. Organizations such as Guidewire,  Veeva Systems, and Opower accelerated incredibly in recent years as enablers of improved operations in their specific industries (insurance, life sciences, and energy).

Simultaneously, disruptors are being created – businesses designed in efforts to cause upheaval. Those are the businesses such as Airbnb (hotels), Uber (taxi services), Zillow (realtors), and Lending Club (online bankers).

These disruptors have essentially created a different type of industry cloud. Rather than taking the existing system and working with it, they have started from scratch. In the marketplace sense (both on the business and the consumer side), what they have done really is revolutionary.

“These companies leapfrogged existing industry constructs and built direct consumer-to-provider marketplaces where none previously existed,” explained Emergence Capital co-founder Gordon Ritter. “The new marketplaces give consumers a straight, non-stop, path to goods or services, and by directly connecting consumers with providers, [create] greater customer intimacy.”

Know Your Disruptor – It’s Not that Guy

In the world of cloud, disruptors tend to have the following six characteristics:

  1. Tools for marketplace interaction – These systems bring service providers and customers together through intuitive, well-organized portals. For instance, Lending Club allows lenders and homebuyers to directly interact without the use of banks, highly disruptive to the mortgage market.
  2. Better consumer engagement – Disruptors engage consumers by giving them more power, “allowing them to choose how/when to [interact] with suppliers/sellers,” noted Ritter. “Airbnb hosts forums where suppliers and renters can provide feedback, share photos and see reviews from other renters.”
  3. Immediate customer access for providers – Disruptors tend to cut out the middleman and establish transactions directly between consumer and provider. Zillow serves as both an enabler and a disruptor with its “Make me Move” feature, which allows homeowners to notify homebuyers that they would sell their house for the right price.
  4. Lower cost – When you get rid of the middleman, they no longer need to be paid. Oscar has become an insurance disruptor by cutting broker fees.
  5. Consumer-ready mobile platforms – These companies have built their systems essentially based off of consumer need, focusing centrally on mobile – although usability is variable. Lyft and Uber have disrupted the taxi market with intuitive apps (and Uber perhaps by cutting out http://money.cnn.com/2014/11/18/technology/uber-unethical-peter-thiel/ the middleman of ethics), while Airbnb has ridden high on its business model without much attention to UX (I’ve personally shouted at the latter app’s poor design).
  6. Generally lower regulations – Any industries that don’t have as many governmental controls are more susceptible to disruption because its more possible for providers to access customers without sidestepping the law. However, a different model is being built in those fields: “Interestingly, in these industries,” Ritter commented, “the leading enablers are becoming the disruptors by working within the system.” Athenahealth’s HIPAA-compliant portal is one example.

Here are industries currently experiencing disruption from the cloud:

Industry Sample Disruptors
Transportation Uber, Lyft
Finance Square, Lending Club
Insurance Oscar, Zenefits
Law Enforcement Bannermen
Real Estate Zillow, Compass
Logistics Flexport, Dispatcher
Law RocketLawyer, Upcounsel
Hotel Airbnb, Hotel Tonight
Energy Tesla, SolarCity
Agriculture Granular, DroneDeploy
Education Fedora, Khan Academy
Healthcare & Life Sciences Doctor on Demand, ZocDoc
Construction Getable, WinSun

Can Tradition Defend Against Disruption?

The short answer is no.

Within 2-5 years the current leaders will need to choose between being disrupted or enabled,” said Ritter. “They can … build a better offering for customers, or they run the risk that industry-specific technology companies bypass [them].”

Disruption won’t be immediate, though – especially in highly regulated industries, where enablement will be more common.

Get Intimate

The second and third characteristics listed above have to do with engagement and access between consumers and providers. The result of a stronger connection, bolstered by ratings (sometimes from both sides, as with Airbnb), is a sense of customer intimacy. That intimacy is critical to disruptor success and should be core to the mission of companies using cloud to re-envision long-established industries.

At Superb, we offer that same sense of intimacy for our cloud customers with communication, quick response, dedicated service, and teamwork – offering enablement to a growing list of successful clients.

By Kent Roberts

Why Local IT Pros Hate the Cloud

Cloud Devices

  • IT Guy: Cloud is the Devil
  • How Cloud Actually Saves Jobs
  • Cloud with Great Support

IT Guy: Cloud is the Devil

Ali Mirdamadi, a consultant with San Diego-based Abacus Data Systems, says that he frequently meets locally based IT professionals who argue against cloud, viewing it as a second-rate threat to their one-on-one, in-person expertise.

Mirdamadi suggests that while he thinks the concern of local IT is valid, it’s better to recognize how their role might be adapting than to battle against the inevitable. After all, cloud is helping many technologists stay in business, as described by Marc Le Guen of Digital Days – discussed below.

Why does local IT get nervous in response to the cloud, though?

The reason, according to Mirdamadi, is that private clouds, public virtual machines, and platform-as-a-service “have become more popular and more affordable which allows Law Firms and businesses to outsource their entire IT needs to experts specialized in data management, security and virtualization.”

Those who use cloud say it makes sense because of the following benefits:

  • Whereas in-house servers are a capital expense that requires equipment ownership, cloud is an operating expense that can be slotted in as a consistent cost per month.
  • Both on-site and digital data protections are enhanced, so it’s easier to stay compliant with any industry-specific regulations.
  • You can easily tie in disaster recovery mechanisms, avoiding the tremendous potential pitfall of extensive downtime.
  • Cloud services render companies more physically and organizationally agile, with space previously needed for servers made available and network weaknesses overcome.

Mirdamadi concludes that the cloud is a transition to a new model of data resource provisioning – and perhaps that goes without saying. However, it summarizes why local IT folks may get defensive when it is discussed. They used to be your middleman to the resources. Now you can go out and get them yourselves.

However, here is where they are wrong: cloud computing is not about slashing jobs.

How Cloud Actually Saves Jobs

Marc Le Guen, the head of sales at Digital Days, says that IT is progressively serving a strategic rather than a tactical role. In other words, rather than gathering finite sets of resources to meet defined objectives of the business, technologists are now tasked with viewing the organization comprehensively and providing solutions to improve the business and its use of resources across the board.

Any technology, whether physical or virtual, has a lifecycle, each phase associated with certain challenges, in a similar manner to people. IT management must pay full attention to the lifecycle of all technological models.

The overarching mission of IT, explains Le Guen, “should be to ensure that the business is up to date with a current solution that enables their co-workers to either have an advantage over their rivals on the market or at the very least remain competitive in their ability to carry out their daily work functions.”

Just like the human lifecycle, the lifecycle of a successful IT service – like any business service – come with a series of stages:

  1. Early adoption – During this initial stage, the technology is still being tested and may be cost-prohibitive. Think of this stage as childhood – and yes, some technology is precocious.
  2. Emergence – This stage is the ideal time for a company to have the solution in place: many hiccups and kinks have been resolved, so systems typically represent a competitive advantage. Think of this stage as young adulthood.
  3. Maturity – At this point, the strategy is an accepted best practice. This phase corresponds to middle age.
  4. Decline – This final period is when the system is being removed, trumped by a newly emergent, innovative approach. This stage is similar to the senior years, and we all know what happens after that.

People in the IT world who tether themselves to the onsite physical server approach should be cognizant of the fact that the localized equipment model is in its third stage, rapidly headed toward the fourth one and its exit. On the other hand, cloud is now in its emergent stage, rapidly headed toward maturity. It is becoming the recognized technological standard.

IT professionals may be convinced that the cloud is replacing them – that it is actually the IT professional that is in decline. Instead of thinking that the job is disappearing, IT experts are best served by recognizing how it is adapting. Cloud doesn’t mean that IT is no longer locally needed. Rather, it means that the specific tasks are different.

Cloud can actually make an IT job much less tedious and repetitive: “Once a cloud solution is put in place,” argues Le Guen, “the IT department can focus on improvements to business through IT instead of just spending all their time on maintaining the status quo.”

Cloud with Great Support

IT has always been fundamentally centered on the cutting edge. Cloud delivers automation at a speed and cost that is impossible to devise locally. IT is changing rapidly, and that means the IT role is too – but support is still needed.

It’s easy for people to think that cloud is self-service IT, and some dominant brands fuel that misperception. At Superb, we have cloud experts on staff to support your everyday technology needs.

By Kent Roberts

Donate Your Own Device: Both IT and Employees Agree that BYOD is DUMB

IT dislikes it because it’s a security nightmare. Employees dislike it because now yet another organization has its fingers in the pie of its personal electronics. Why is BYOD hailed as such a great idea?

  • BYOD? IT Says Slow Down
  • No BYOD at For-Profit Company
  • No BYOD atLocal Government
  • The Value of Controls & Standards

BYOD? IT Says Slow Down

Seven out of ten IT decision-makers (70%) want to wait for third-platform technology to mature and to prove its data-protection capabilities rather than immediately incorporating BYOD into the office, says an analysis by UK tech publication Computing . More people have been converted to the cause, though, since eight out of ten (80%) were anti-BYOD in the magazine’s 2012 poll.

One in two (50%) think that in 2018, they will still be against an open-access network policy that incorporates whatever smartphone or laptop the employee is using when they walk in the door. Why do just three in ten currently say it’s OK to allow ultimate freedom to the individual user now (and really, who cares about any optimism toward three years from now)?

Data protection is fundamental to this debate. Mobility and the immediate concern of on-the-go security have been of increasing concern to big business since the first appearance of the iPhone in 2007. That’s part of the reason that you see mobility – along with big data analytics, cloud computing, and social networking – listed as one of the four pillars of the new wave of computing, the so-called third platform .

Because of the rise of smartphones and tablets, explains Computing’s Peter Gothard, mobility monitoring solutions such as Airwatch and Good have cropped up to provide some method to the madness.

However, companies like cutting costs by using employee-owned devices, and marketing the notion of phone choice can potentially help with recruitment.

No BYOD at For-Profit Company

You want everyone in the company to be proud of the workplace culture, argues Reed.co.uk CIO Mark Ridley.

Reed, a staffing company, is conducting a complete review of the technology that accesses its intranet – looking at all computers rather than just mobile, which it protects using Airwatch.

“The next step is how we could do this with a choose-your-own-device policy, augmenting the choices you make with our own funding,” says Ridley.

As of right now, though, Reed does not allow people to use whatever equipment they want.

So that employees don’t start to become convinced that they work for an Amish firm, the company has attempted to strike a compromise: slightly more than 50% of the workforce carries Google Chromebooks that are kept in recharging compartments.

Employees will grab one on the way to the conference room or to work on a project over a lunch break.

In addition to the Chromebooks, Reed now has a fleet of iPads for when people don’t want to lug around a PC.

“Bring your own device” initially meant that people wanted to be able to check their email with their phones. Now it’s become integrated into operations.

Gothard said that people want to work at companies that have cool equipment, giving the example of young computer scientists feeling unsure about a company that doesn’t have its own data center or otherwise remind them of the private network with four monitors they have running in their basements.

It would be great if everyone could have 100% computing freedom, says Ridley, provided that basic business standards – cost, security, and efficiency – are met.

In fact, it’s too simple to assume that everyone wants BYOD. Many employees hate the idea because they want to be able to separate their personal and professional lives.

“If you look at a lot of people, they’ll walk into a meeting room with two phones,” Ridley explains. “They like that segregation, and they want to keep working that way. ”

No BYOD at Local Government

The county government of Shropshire Council (in the West Midlands of England) closed the door to BYOD in December 2013, according to IT director Barry Wilkinson. He said it was simply too challenging to fit limitless devices within the mechanisms of the Public Services Network, the essential platform of the United Kingdom’s public sector.

Wilkinson says that he and his colleagues talked about how it should be called DYOD for “donate your own device,” since the organization is pulling every employee’s personal electronics into its clutches like a hoarder with junk mail.

Wilkinson fretted about taking home his own tablet, putting a bunch of personal images on it, and then having to clear out all the data if it were stolen. He hated the notion that someday he might have to do the same to a coworker’s mobile device.

“That’s not a nice element to have to patrol,” he comments.

To read Part 2 of this article, please click HERE.

The Value of Controls & Standards

Nobody wants another organization latched onto its device, with creepy access to personal data. Meanwhile, the IT team doesn’t want to have to deal with the borderline impossible complexity of infinite choice. BYOD is dumb. Let’s talk about solutions that make more sense: cloud virtual machines based on internationally recognized standards.

With Superb Internet, get your own cloud VM, one that is delivered via international parameters you can trust, through three world-class SSAE 16 audited datacenters.

By Kent Roberts

All Your Belongings Will Be Powered By Cloud

Cloud Devices

  • Cloud Computing as a Backbone
  • Third Platform Overview
  • Integrating All Your Stuff
  • Getting it Right the First Time

Cloud Computing as a Backbone

Technology changes rapidly, with the discussion of technological development keeping pace. Technologists are always trying to see through the façade of various emergent concepts and determine if they are legitimately revolutionary and practically applicable or not. However, writes Nathaniel Borenstein on Gigaom, it’s important to stay abreast of industry developments because the technology could point to a major transition for our businesses and lifestyles.

Borenstein considers the internet of things (IoT) to be today’s most hyped technology, with thorough and continuing press coverage. He is quick to point out that the IoT does not represent a shift away from cloud computing. In fact, this broader web that will incorporate the objects around us will be built on the third platform – which includes cloud along with social networking, mobile computing, and big data.

Cloud has become such a major infrastructural mechanism that it now serves as a backbone of the web, hosting thousands of applications that together have an enormous impact on our lives.

“It is tough to imagine our current lives without cloud computing,” Borenstein notes, “and the cloud is the technology infrastructure (along with electricity itself) that literally keeps the world working, communicating and learning – and therefore, the IoT needs the cloud to reach its full potential.”

Third Platform Overview

Before looking more thoroughly at Borenstein’s thesis, let’s briefly review the third platform, as described by Mark Neistat of US Signal Company. The third platform follows the mainframe computer and the personal computer as the most innovative standard environment in which users and service providers operate.

Mobile access is the most critical aspect of the third platform, argues Neistat, for two main reasons:

  • Users interact with social media, cloud, and data analytics via mobile.
  • Mobile computing optimizes personal choice with “bring your own device” (BYOD) programs that incorporate all brands of smart phones and tablets into a network.

You can see how all these various elements are integrated. Social networks are accelerating in response to the skyrocketing use of mobile access, and that is particularly evident outside the United States, with projected growth rates for international regions as follows:

  • Middle East/Africa – 23%
  • Asia-Pacific (China, India, etc.) – 21%
  • Central and South America – 13%
  • North America – 4%.

Third, the cloud market continues to expand globally. Everything is gradually moving from a physical to a virtual model, with spending on cloud computing expected to exceed $200 billion by 2016.

Big data is the fourth and final pillar of the third platform. This type of data is not helpful by itself because it is simply a massive amount of information collected during the course of normal business. However, big data becomes actionable through sophisticated analytics. Neistat explains, “IT professionals are crunching vast quantities of seemingly chaotic information and discovering patterns that can lead to insightful, life-saving, and profitable predictions.”

Integrating All Your Stuff

Taken individually, connected objects would be extraordinarily difficult to manage and support. Designing the internet of things must not be done as innumerable client-server connections. One device might need to communicate with 5 or 10 online applications, and each application might be trying to communicate with a million different objects at once. That’s a recipe for disaster. Keeping the software of independent objects current sounds so challenging that many people have disregarded the IoT as riddled with security holes.

How do you create consistency for the internet of things so that all users and devices are protected? The cloud can serve as central command.

Every object can have its own software-as-a-service (SaaS) portal to which it submits information and remembers the preferences of its users. Additional services can be integrated with that single point of cloud-based contact.

By moving data processing to cloud, management become simpler. The market also becomes less daunting for developers. But anyone who develops any type of service can draw on the object’s data within the cloud.

Everything can fit seamlessly, says Borenstein: “The part of a smart object that interacts with the cloud can be made extremely generic, and therefore relatively easy and inexpensive to manage.”

Getting it Right the First Time

Everyone says the IoT is on its way, but the only way security and integration will be effective is if data is centralized in a standardized model. Setting the work in the cloud will also improve performance, rather than relying on the computing power of every small connected object.

Borenstein explains that your smart objects don’t really need to be all that smart. If we connect them to centralized cloud servers, they will simply need to be able to send and receive data from the web, where any complex computing will be conducted.

Perhaps the most important gift we will receive from the third platform is a fully realized smart environment. Imagine a world in which everything around you is controlled by technology that often outpaces supercomputers. Get ready by optimizing your third-platform experience today.

By Kent Roberts