The Internet of Things: Driving New Ways of Doing Business

By Claude Schück

The Internet of Things comprises of billions of everyday objects that are equipped with the ability to automatically record, report and receive data. Examples include a sensor in your shoe tracking how fast you run, or a bridge tracking traffic patterns.

The opportunities and challenges presented by the Internet of Things are changing the way organisations do business and escalating the need for strategic agility and competitive edge.

Claude Schűck, Channel Sales Lead of EMC Southern Africa, says customers are under different pressures in the current business environment. “The Internet of Things presents radical new ways of interacting with customers, streamlining business cycles and reducing operational costs, stimulating millions of Rands in opportunity for businesses. Conversely, it presents significant challenges as businesses look to manage, store and protect the sheer volume and diversity of this data,” he says.

According to the 2014 EMC Digital Universe study, the number of devices that can be connected to the Internet is approaching 200 billion today, with around 14 billion already communicating over the Internet. The report forecasts that by 2020 the number of connected devices will grow to 32 billion.

With research and analysis by IDC, the EMC Digital Universe report is the only study to quantify and forecast the amount of data produced annually.The Internet of Things will influence the massive amounts of ‘useful data’ – data that can be analysed – in the Digital Universe; however, there is a lot of useful data that isn’t currently being analysed.

What this means is that a great amount of all data could be considered useful data but Schück says it will be up to businesses to put this data to use.

As more businesses capitalise on social and mobile phenomena, the enormity and potential of the Digital Universe grows, and businesses are presented with greater opportunities to analyse new streams of data and gain more value from the data they already have.

“Companies of all types are shape-shifting into software-defined enterprises right before our eyes. While the potential is massive, the implications are equally daunting. IT departments must press the restart button to find new ways to innovate around existing infrastructure while positioning themselves to dive into the future,” Schűck says.

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