The speed of change and progress in the technology field continues to grow with no sign of a slowdown in sight. A consequence of this development is the exponential growth in the amount of digital data generated by the new technologies and the struggle for businesses to streamline all of the data into useful metrics.
The Original Internet
Since its inception in 1989, the Internet has experienced enormous growth and currently has over 1.3 billion distinct web sites. By searching the web you can find products that are not available locally and information on just about any subject you can imagine. This has simplified our lives by allowing us to shop and research countless subjects from the comfort of our home and opened up previously unimagined opportunities for businesses and individuals
A by-product of this abundance of information available at our fingertips is the need to objectively sort through the data that is available to find exactly what we need. I am sure that I am not the only person who found conflicting details returned from a web search.
This fact illustrates one of the problems inherent in the preponderance of data available in our digital age. We have had to develop new skills to assist in understanding what all that data means. In the past you may have consulted your friendly encyclopedia when looking for an answer, and been satisfied with your results. Today you may have to wade through a number of different websites that can have different takes on the answer to your question.
Balancing the advantages of having multiple sources available with the need to be discerning regarding their content is one of the challenges we face in the digital age. We need to find a way to navigate through the riches of information without getting caught up in the illusions and misrepresentations that lurk among the valid answers to our searches. This is not a trivial endeavor.
The New Internet Of Things
The miniaturization of computer technology combined with the connectivity offered by the Internet has spawned a new paradigm known as the Internet of Things (IOT). Manufacturers are creating devices in numerous fields that can be connected to the Internet or to each other for the purpose of exchanging and monitoring data. Currently there are over 20 billion devices worldwide that comprise the IOT, and the number is rapidly increasing.
Fields as diverse as health care, marketing, and manufacturing are all poised to benefit from the information that will be made available through the IOT. Some of the applications would have read as science fiction in the not too distant past, but will soon be commonplace and impact that way we conduct our daily lives.
Any object that can be assigned an IP address and transmit data over a network can be seen as a “thing” in the Internet of Things. These objects can be organic or man-made. From microchips embedded in medical devices to traffic systems built into roadways, the application of connected devices is limited only by the imagination and enterprise of our cutting-edge engineers.
Individuals can set up “smart” homes with interconnected devices that allow for temperature and light control. Businesses will be able to track inventory and more importantly, usage of their products once the are in the hands of the consumer. This will enable them to tailor future improvements based on hard data gathered from their consumer base.
Manufacturers can employ a system of embedded devices in their production systems that can streamline and improve their bottom line. Sensors can alert personnel to looming maintenance issues and preventative action can be taken before an assembly line shut down is required.
The IOT offers a plethora of opportunities for direct marketing. Information from your phone, car, computer, smartwatch and other connected devices can be analyzed to target your individual tastes and habits.
Similar improvements are possible in health care as heart monitors connected to the internet can warn your doctor that you should come in for a check-up. There really is no limit insight as to how the IOT can be used. It will undoubtedly change our world.
The Lifeline Of Automation Software
Just as individuals are challenged to sort through the amount of data resident on the Internet, entities attempting to make use of the digital material of the IOT need to have strategies in place to assist in making sense out of the mountains of information that will be available. The constant increase of data generated by the IOT makes it impossible for a human to adequately make the proper connections between the information gathered and the appropriate actions that may need to be taken.
Handling the collection, storage and analysis of the tremendous amount of data that the Internet Of Things will make available will not be possible without the use of automation software. Use of the proper software tools will spell the difference between you simply having a lot of data on your customers or processes and you having a lot of valid and usable information on them.
The IOT is at the root of an explosion of digital data that will overwhelm many systems and procedures currently in place. Turning that data into knowledge is a challenge that can be handled by employing the right kind of automation software. Making sense of the information hidden in the IOT can give you a competitive advantage and help you grow your business in the constantly evolving digital world.