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IoT Automation and the Modern Software Factory | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #Automation

The IoT has limitless potential, but it has been held back by an ability to properly scale. Could things be about to change?

IoT Automation and the Modern Software Factory
By Scott Willson

For what feels like a lifetime, industry analysts and experts have predicted ‘this' will be the year the Internet of Things (IoT) finally takes off, both within industry and for consumers. But, as if by clockwork, each year of ‘guaranteed' IoT explosion has passed - the mass adoption and exploitation of the Internet of Things having failed to materialize.

The IoT vision is almost utopian in its promise: a connected intelligent home or office, offering a simpler more convenient future. Our houses will be populated by smart ‘things'; thermostats that know precisely how warm we like our rooms, speakers that understand our taste in music and refrigerators that realize when we're running low on the essentials and act to replenish themselves. Our cities too will become more intelligent; our highways will be populated by sensors, bringing congestion to an end; our streets safeguarded by interconnected surveillance. This will all be made possible via the communication of a global set of devices.

For all its promise, however, the Internet of Things is still yet to gain any meaningful traction - it hasn't fulfilled its potential. But what potential it has! Gartner predicts that, by 2020, more than 20 billion ‘things' will be connected to the IoT. Clearly, there's a huge market just waiting to be tapped. While several elements of the IoT-end game remain years away - namely, intelligent cities - we may finally be approaching the tipping point for this interconnected world to become a reality.

There have been significant barriers between us and the promised land of a truly connected world. A lack of true industry standards is one such hurdle. To date, the IoT hasn't been populated with devices designed around the same building standards, or even with unified security protocols. Connected devices struggle to simply talk to each other organically. As such, each device has required its own application, rather than everything being controlled from a single central hub. From a consumer's point of view, this is holding back adoption.

Complexity is another hurdle which must be cleared. On paper, a series of truly connected devices sounds so simple, yet it's anything but. The Internet of Things is so diverse, it can consist of just about anything. Cars, watches, doorbells ­ even egg trays (seriously). To make the IoT really feasible, we need more than hardware and connectivity: we need software. To push updates quickly and safely, and ensure performance, we need more modern software factories. The backbone of the modern software factory? Automation.

In the digital era, automation is pivotal to the modern business, to digital transformation and to the eventual success of the IoT. Historically, it has been an overlooked component in the quest to realize the IoT. While we're not going to be too hasty and claim 2017 will truly be the year of ‘Connected Everything', we're confident in claiming we're one step closer.

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More Stories By Automic Blog

Automic, a leader in business automation, helps enterprises drive competitive advantage by automating their IT factory - from on-premise to the Cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things.

With offices across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, Automic powers over 2,600 customers including Bosch, PSA, BT, Carphone Warehouse, Deutsche Post, Societe Generale, TUI and Swisscom. The company is privately held by EQT. More information can be found at www.automic.com.

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