Fifty billion of anything is a lot, and popular predictions put the number of physical devices making up the Internet of Things (IoT) between 20 billion and 50 billion in the next few years. That’s headline-big. Those billions of devices need to be designed, built, ordered, delivered, assigned, deployed, managed, maintained, and so on, and information on those endeavors will fill a lot more headlines. But for the IoT, the 50 billion devices aren’t the biggest news.
A couple of years ago, the predictions of billions of internet-connected things raised concerns about data storage, processing power, and more. Where do you store the data coming from billions more sensors in factories, vehicles, warehouses, and wearables? Where do you get the compute power to manage that data in real time? Those were good questions, but the cloud has stepped up with abundant storage and compute capacity, at ever more-affordable prices because of robust competition.
With cloud computing infrastructure ready to store and process the data from billions of devices in real time, what’s the next industry challenge? Is it choosing or building an IoT platform and applications? Analyzing IoT data in real time and acting on it just as quickly? Those challenges are definitely part of what’s next.
The bigger goal is for all of that sensor data—collected by IoT platforms—to inform direct actions, predictive analytics, and machine learning that improve manufacturing and distribution processes, product quality, customer experiences, personal safety, and a lot more.
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The biggest IoT questions businesses must answer have little to do with the number of devices they’re connecting to the internet.
In this issue’s cover feature, “The Business of Things,” two companies describe their IoT journeys.
Lochbridge started its IoT journey by supporting a leading auto manufacturer in its connected-car offering and is now building an IoT platform on Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise to improve the businesses of its own customers. Noble Plastics, which provides engineering, contract manufacturing, and related services, plans to use Oracle Internet of Things Asset Monitoring Cloud Service, which runs on Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise, to improve manufacturing and product quality.
In “Connect, Analyze, Integrate,” Oracle Senior Director Harish Gaur discusses how the core features of Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Enterprise help to connect, analyze, and integrate devices, data, and applications. Gaur provides additional examples of how Oracle’s IoT services are helping to improve businesses.
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Photography by Dmitry Ratushny,Unsplash