Information Technology experts are continually making new cloud related announcements.
Most devices from industrial machinery, household goods to cars are having a strong cloud based back end.
The cloud components of numerous technologies have become universal. Now we can confidently say cloud has come to stay.
The public now wants everything to be connected.
Anything under the sun, whether it is a camera, car, television or a dishwasher is already communicating or will communicate with cloud servers.
In other words we are into internet of things or IOT for short.
IoT has no doubt entered our life in a big way.
Yet for most people it is a huge, puzzling arena waiting to engulf our lives.
But first let us take stock of the nitty-gritty of Internet of Things (IoT)
The term IoT refers to situations wherein networking and computing technologies embrace objects, sensors and many of our everyday items, enabling these items to create, consume and exchange data with very little or no human intervention.
The above is not necessarily the universal definition. It only explains what IoT is.
But what is inescapable is that IoT is now one of the most disruptive technologies facilitating omnipresent and all-encompassing computing scenarios.
In reality, the idea of amalgamating computers, sensors and networks to various devices is not something new.
Such concepts existed since many years.
But what is innovative is the market trend that is expanding IoT to newer vistas.
The IoT uses several connectivity models.
These include device to device, device to gateway, and Device to cloud and more.
There is no any doubt that the potential is immense.
We are moving into a hyper-connected world, a world where there is no limitation on applications and technology to interconnect things.
However, it is the cloud technologies that are proving to be transformational to IoT.
In a device to cloud environment, an IoT device connects directly to an internet cloud service via a cloud service provider to exchange data and monitor traffic.
To explain further, this technique leverages existing communication mechanisms like Wi-Fi or Ethernet to establish a connection between the device and the IP network.
The question now arises is what is the need for the integration of cloud and IoT.
On a standalone basis, cloud and IoT have evolved independently.
However, Information Technology experts have discovered that there are compelling advantages by integrating the two.
Cloud computing has limitless capabilities in terms of storage and processing power.
According to an IT expert, “Cloud is the only medium that can offer the best solutions to implement IT service management and applications that can make use of things and the data generated by them”.
The cloud server hosting services on the other hand can extend its scope to connect with real world things in an inclusive manner for delivering innovative services in a large number of scenarios.
The roadmap of IoT via cloud is not necessarily going to be smooth.
There are three pressing challenges that need to be addressed.
The data that can be unfolded via the IoT devices can unlock incredible value to the public. But people will be concerned about privacy, and this alone can hamper full adoption of the IoT potential.
“The Internet of Things is dramatically transforming the ways personal data is collected and used”, says an IT CIO. “This is a vital challenge but not insurmountable”.
Security is always an uncompromising issue in any IT technology innovation. But the attributes of IoT presents unique security concerns. The cloud services are seized of this issue because ensuring security of IoT products and services is a fundamental priority.
3. Regulatory and legal issues
The use of IoT devices in a big way is sure to raise regulatory and legal issues. The rate at which IT technology is growing is unprecedented, but the ability of the legal and regulatory structures to cope up with this pace is a question mark.
For the public, trust will be the core consideration while evolving IoT laws.
There is no looking back to Internet of Things; it is promising a ground-breaking “smart” world that will interconnect objects, the environment and people.
The challenge for technologists will be on how to maximize the benefits of IoT while minimizing the risks. This is not going to be a cakewalk, but as with all problems these will also be sorted out in good time.
We are already seeing good growth in cloud-based services for devices. Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services are a few of the leaders in the field. With concurrent growth in compute and storage devices, the support for IoT will be further strengthened.
If you witness the number of devices that can be connected to the Wi-Fi hub you will realize the potential of cloud services.
This is only a small example.
We are set to witness an explosion in cloud IT enabled devices in the few years.
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