If you have tapped into IoT’s connectivity alone, you haven’t explored even half of the technology’s potential.
The real power lies in data-centric IoT.
What is the Internet of things?
The IoT is a giant network of connected things and people – all of which collect and share data about the way they are used and about the environment around them. That includes an extraordinary number of objects of all shapes and sizes – from smart microwaves, which automatically cook your food for the right length of time, to self-driving cars, whose complex sensors detect objects in their path, to wearable fitness devices that measure your heart rate and the number of steps you’ve taken that day, then use that information to suggest exercise plans tailored to you. There are even connected footballs that can track how far and fast they are thrown and record those statistics via an app for future training purposes.
IoT is Becoming Increasingly Popular
With the news of leading corporations investing in IoT, it is becoming increasingly evident that the Internet of Things will become an inevitable part of the future enterprises. Taking their cue from such information, many businesses are exuberantly investing in IoT implementation or are planning to do so in the near future. A major reason for this is IoT’s ability to provide seamless interconnectivity throughout a business process and convenience in executing operations, as is advertised by most IoT providers. Although increasing automation and communication will be valuable improvements to any organization, real transformation is only possible through the effective use of data. To derive maximum value from their IoT investment, businesses should learn to leverage the data generated by IoT, and not just the technology employed.
Technology-Centric vs. Data-Centric IoT
Technology-centric IoT implementation implies the use of IoT to perform business functions in a smarter, more efficient manner. This is how a majority of the current implementations are being carried out, with focus on making the process more self-regulating and streamlined. An example of technology-centric IoT use is performing predictive analysis on a manufacturing system to execute well-timed maintenance activities. This minimizes the need for frequent human intervention and maximizes utilization and efficiency. A data-centric IoT approach would not only involve predictive analysis, but also further use of the data collected to derive additional insights on a process. These insights may lead to discoveries that can help make major changes to the process and enable much higher overall performance, not only related to maintenance.
A technology-centric approach focuses on finding problems to solve using the technology, whereas data-centric IoT implementation focuses on finding solutions to the biggest problems using data. The former approach usually leads to superficial changes that do provide benefits, but not as substantial as the change driven by data, which is transformational on a fundamental level. For instance, using IoT to track supply and demand for improving supply chain responsiveness can be profitable. But, using massive amount of data and using it to track trends, identify patterns, and make long-term predictions to enhance decision-making will be much more valuable and impactful.
Considering its versatility, it is easy to find areas where IoT can be applied, in a technology-centric way, to limited benefit. However, a data-centric approach is not always obvious, mainly due to the massive amount of data, and requires analysis and translation of data into decision-making parameters.
Application of Data-Centric IoT
Number of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices from 2019 to 2030 (in millions), by region | Source: Statista
According to a McKinsey insight, “99% of data collected from about 30,000 sensors on an oil rig was lost before reaching operational decision-makers.” Data-centric IoT implementation begins by identifying the value of data as a tool for boosting business performance, and not just a by-product IoT implementation. The data that would be collected by the proposed IoT application and the value it would provide should be included in the business value of the IoT investment. Different types of data collected through the IoT system should be managed and analyzed to form insights, which would be available whenever needed to inform decisions. Having internal business consulting teams will help in asking the right questions during times of critical decision-making, which would allow the collection and utilization of the right kind of data. This would ensure the extraction of maximum value from the data collected.
Although the investment made in IoT implementation pays for the technology, the IoT initiative should be evaluated based on the value of the data that could be harvested, in addition to the technological convenience. The data not only serves as a diagnostic tool but can also be used to generate prescriptive insights. A balanced approach between technology-centric and data-centric IoT deployment, using effective data management and analytics, will put your organization on track to achieve maximum benefit from IoT application.
VMware unveils vSphere+ and vSAN+ to simplify operations with Centralised Infrastructure Management
VMware has launched VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ to help organisations bring the benefits of the cloud to their existing on-premises infrastructure with no disruption to their workloads or hosts.
Introduced at VMworld 2021 as a technology preview known as Project Arctic, these new offerings will help customers enhance their infrastructure by providing centralised cloud-based infrastructure management, integrated Kubernetes, access to new hybrid cloud services, and a flexible subscription model.
Krish Prasad, senior vice president and general manager for VMware Cloud Platform Business, Cloud Infrastructure Business Group, VMware, said: “VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ represent the next major evolution of those foundational solutions that customers know and trust.
“Wherever customers are on their digital transformation journey and in executing their cloud strategy, vSphere+ and vSAN+ will help accelerate their transformation by bringing the benefits of cloud to their existing on-premises infrastructure and workloads, along with simplified consumption via a flexible subscription model.”
VMware vSphere+ and VMware vSAN+ are an integral part of the VMware Cloud strategy to deliver consistent infrastructure with value-added capabilities across distributed environments. vSphere+ and vSAN+ will enable customers to activate add-on hybrid cloud services that deliver on key use cases for business-critical applications running on-premises, including disaster recovery and ransomware protection. Customers of all sizes will be able to consume new capabilities, security and product updates at a much faster pace and vastly simplify their operations—without making changes to their existing applications or hardware.
“The transformation of on-premises infrastructure with cloud services is an emerging modernisation trend that IDC is seeing draw significant interest from enterprises,” said Gary Chen, IDC Research Director, Software Defined Compute. “By enabling the ubiquitous datacenter hypervisor with cloud services, users will be able to onboard innovative capabilities that can be delivered immediately and fully managed from the cloud to address a broad range of pain points such as management efficiency, scale out Kubernetes operations, and DR. The future possibilities of this delivery model, such as with vSphere+ and vSAN+, are endless and can be a key tool for enterprises to modernise existing infrastructure quickly with minimal burden.”
Under pressure to improve efficiency and productivity, infrastructure operations teams are seeking more efficient ways to maintain and protect infrastructure to support increasingly larger and more complex environments. In many instances, customers’ vSphere environments are distributed across siloed locations, edge sites, and clouds leading to operational complexity and inefficient maintenance experience.
vSphere+ and vSAN+ provide a unified infrastructure management experience for these distributed environments via the VMware Cloud Console. The console features global inventory, configuration, alerts, administration and security status for on-premises deployments. Admins will be able to perform certain operational tasks directly from the VMware Cloud Console such as managing configurations and policies across their deployments. Additionally, customers will benefit from a vastly simplified lifecycle management experience through cloud-enabled automation of updates of on-premises infrastructure components. Customers will also gain from cloud-based remediation and configuration drift capabilities, including security checks to maintain compliance with corporate and regulatory requirements.
Developer teams are focused on modernising their applications and infrastructure to deliver better software to production, faster. Providing a single workload platform for running VMs and containers orchestrated by Kubernetes, vSphere+ will help transform on-premises infrastructure into an enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform. This includes providing a multi-cloud IaaS consumption experience for developers by extending the capabilities of VMware Tanzu Standard Runtime to enable developers to run and manage Kubernetes at scale with consistency and efficiency across on-premises, public clouds, and edge. The inclusion of VMware Tanzu Mission Control Essentials will provide customers with global visibility across their entire Kubernetes footprint and automate operational tasks.
Modern organisations require integrated and expanded cloud services to consistently bolster their security posture, quickly recover from disasters and site outages, and better protect against ransomware. With vSphere+ and vSAN+, customers will continue to use their existing investments, including toolsets and domain expertise, while benefiting from the expanded capabilities of VMware Cloud. Customers will benefit from protection workflows available as add-on cloud services directly integrated into their operating environment including VMware Cloud Disaster Recovery, an on-demand ransomware and disaster recovery service. New add-on cloud services are under development and are expected to be delivered in the future providing customers with a streamlined path to the cloud, should they choose to migrate down the road.
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