"Internet of Things is not about the things, but the data": Microsoft

"Internet of Things is not about the things, but the data": Microsoft

Microsoft releases Telsyte Internet of Things report

Microsoft Australia Internet of Things lead, Lee Hickin, says the emerging trend is not about the "things", but the data, as the company seeks to mark its turf in a market expected to generate $19 trillion in profit over the next decade.

The comments come with the release of the Telsyte research, on behalf of Microsoft, which has found that two-thirds of organisations that have deployed and measured Internet of Things (IoT) solutions have achieved 28 per cent cost reductions in their day-to-day operations.

Hickin said IoT was a great "buzz word" but it was how you used the data that was important.

He also gave recommendations on how companies should proceed on implementing IoT technologies.

"It's not just about the things," he said. "We are not at that point where sensors are everywhere," he said.

"The really transformative business value in the Internet of Things approach is in the building of that data."

He said there was a clear opportunity for integrators who were early to the IoT market, citing Microsoft's integration partner, Breeze, for it's BUPA deployment.

“There are clear signs that organisations are beginning to realise the power of the Internet of Things," he said.

"The research tells us that two-thirds of IT and business leaders have seen at least a five-fold increase in connected devices in their organisation over the past five years with that trajectory set to continue into the near future.

"The challenge for Australian businesses will be to integrate those devices in a meaningful way and harness the power of the generated data.”

The report defined the IoT as the network of physical devices (such as machinery, cars, lighting, manufacturing equipment and sensors) that interact with each other and with business software systems.

According to Telsyte, IoT collects and collates data from those connected devices, which can be used to improve customer service, increase revenue or reduce costs. Technologies like SCADA, cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) and other networked industrial control systems are also defined as part of the IoT in this report.

Breeze chief executive, Nicki Page, said IoT was all about using integration to solve business problems.

"This Telsyte report is further justification for early adopters who have identified the tangible benefits of IoT," she said.

"We are utilising the Cloud to bring the Internet of Things to our customers in a scalable environment. By starting small, organisations are able to realise the benefits of the Internet of Things in line with their own business strategy.”

"We are utilising the Cloud to bring the Internet of Things to our customers in a scalable environment. By starting small, organisations are able to realise the benefits of the Internet of Things in line with their own business strategy.”

Breeze recently completed a project for Bupa subsidiary, Dental Corporation, that leveraged the Azure cloud platform to deliver real-time data on its practices.

In the new setup, a software agent was installed in each practice which tracks and changes in practice data and extracts and forwards them to Azure, where the data is processed and made available to Dental Corporation.

This was held up as an example of IoT.

Dental corporation general manager, Kellie King, said it was a case of disparate data, disparate applications and disparate devices scattered all over the world.

"We are embarking on an Internet of Things project in order to connect those applications, data and devices to uncover insights about our business.”

The report also found 53 per cent of organisations that had deployed IoT, had increased productivity and efficiency at an average of 29 per cent.

However 20 per cent of companies are still unaware of the concept of IoT, while only 26 per cent of organisations have implemented any form of IoT.

Telsyte managing director, Foad Fadaghi, said Australian organisations were faced with a massive increase in Internet-connected devices that would give unprecedented insights into their operations.

He said IoT was the same thing many industrial companies had been doing for decades, only with a different approach.

"It's the data and the handling of that data that's going to make a difference going forward," he said.

"When people in the industry start to realise it... snowballing will occur.

“The real-time data generated from IoT devices will usher in a new era of productivity that will be critical for Australian companies looking at staying internationally competitive regardless of industry segment."

For those companies about to embark on an IoT strategy, Telsyte recommends starting small.

Inertia associated with rolling out unfamiliar technologies can be overcome if business leaders start small and grow their IoT deployments as business benefits such as boosted productivity and revenues and reduced costs are realised.

The Cloud will also be key. But to overcome complexity, skills and cost barriers, Telsyte recommends exploring proven IoT Cloud services or managed solutions, which can be procured on a pay-per-use basis and grown as requirements increase, reducing risk and accelerating deployments.

While IoT pioneers have often had to go it alone, the fast followers are working with experienced vendor partners to reduce risk, leverage skills and ultimately adopt tried and tested vertical solutions.

As benefits grow with IoT scale, Telsyte recommends investigating vendors that can handle the largest workloads and scale to meet future requirements.

Most organisations (77 per cent) in Australia have some restrictions on where data is located.

Telsyte recommends engaging with IoT solution providers that have an on-shore cloud service or with local managed-service providers that have experience in dealing with data location restrictions.

But real-time data will deliver the most transformational results.

The Internet of Things will generate real-time data - not just large volumes of data - across a range of business processes.

Real-time data is about immediacy, and brings with it the potential for fundamental disruption.

When possible, Telsyte recommends processes be modelled around the availability of real-time data to build long-term competitive advantage.

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Tags Foad FadaghiKellie KingDental corporation general managerlead Lee HickinBreeze chief executive Nicki PageIoTMicrosoft Australia Internet of ThingsTelsyte Managing Director is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

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