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How ready are your apps for IoT?

We all know that “things” of all kinds, limited only by your imagination, are already demanding all connectivity all the time. But, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, if the predictions of those in the predicting business are accurate. Are your applications and the platforms they run on robust enough to handle the coming tsunami?

Research firm Gartner two weeks ago published its list of predictions for 2016. “By 2018, six billion connected things will be requesting support.” This is about tech support and also the need to think of devices as your customers. That means a steady flood of automated requests for data and the opposite — devices reporting their status. This isn’t just the “you’re gonna need a bigger boat” stuff of the movie Jaws, it’s about needing a battleship and a very agile one at that.

Juniper Research is even more aggressive with its IoT device projection. In a July 2015 report, the firm says “the number of IoT connected devices will number 38.5 billion in 2020, up from 13.4 billion in 2015.” That’s a jump of more than 285 percent. The report goes on to say that connected devices already exceeds the earth’s population by more than double. Yet, “for most enterprises, simply connecting their systems and devices remains the first priority.” One problem cited is conflicting standards.

It appears not to matter if the IoT devices your apps communicate with are consumer oriented (home automation, connected vehicles, healthcare, banking, etc.) or industrial (manufacturing floor, agriculture, power grids, smart office buildings, etc.) It’s a mashup we might as call “IoT Big Data.”

Even if your applications can handle the huge volumes and velocities of device-driven data, you still need powerful back ends to transform those ones and zeros into something useful. The Juniper report states the case well: ” Mere connections create data; however, this does not become information until it is gathered, analyzed and understood.” In other words, it’s not just device communications pipelines that need to be beefed up, it’s also the analytics standing in the background. Data, once it’s understood, is not just information, it’s knowledge.

Are your applications, storage systems, and analytics ready to handle the coming meteoric rise in connected devices? What is your organization doing to ensure capacity stays ahead of demand? Share your thoughts with your peers. We’d like to hear from you.