With digital transformation, technologies such as big data, IoT and cloud storage are on the topmost agenda of all the businesses. Each of these technologies is no longer a sophisticated ‘nice to have’ technology. They have become a necessity. Although the three distinct technologies evolved independently, they are increasingly becoming more intertwined. With more adaptation and development, we are seeing a persistent convergence of these three technologies in a way that the capabilities of the technologies are aligned in the best possible way.
The Path of Convergence
Big data, IoT and cloud computing are distinct disciples that have evolved separately over time. However, they are increasingly becoming interdependent. The concept of big data and IoT has been around for many years, but its mainstream application started only recently. The concept of cloud computing also traces back to the 1960s ‘intergalactic computer network’ and has since then evolved and passed through many stages to become a mainstream commercial necessity. Today these technologies are more intertwined than ever in every respect.
Demand for big data is calling for the adoption of both IoT and cloud platforms. With IoT, the amount of big data will obviously increase. The adoption of IoT and big data compels a move towards cloud technology. According to IDC, “Within the next five years, more than 90 percent of all Internet of Things data will be hosted on service provider platforms as cloud computing reduces the complexity of supporting the Internet of Things ‘data blending.’” So, a company looking to transform the IoT data and utilize its potential first needs to fully embrace cloud-based systems.
The number of IoT devices is expected to grow to 20 billion by 2020 whereas the big data industry is expected to have a worth of US$66.8 billion by 2021. These are the fastest growing sectors in IT and both are very much necessary for any technological innovation.
The convergence of these three technologies is creating a massive shift towards the dependence on interconnected devices and the information they generate. We are shifting from product-orientation to information-based outcome orientation.
What it Means for the Industry
ROI for the Businesses Will Increase
IoT, big data analytics, and cloud computing are transforming how businesses are creating value. Data analytics backed by the expansion of computing power is enabling companies to extract maximum value from data to get the best insights. Data lake is becoming normal as organizations attempt to create more value out of their data pool. Data has become the new currency.
However, data storage still remains a concern. People are gradually shifting to the cloud due to less complex structure and lower costs. With more data in hand, a safe storage platform, and analysis of such data, the ROI of businesses will become very high. The cost of computation for the businesses is also likely to go down as the cost of deploying these technologies will decrease more with time.
Healthcare Industry Will Become Smarter
The combined features of the three technologies can reshape the next generation of e-health systems. Big data in healthcare sector can lead to a transformation from hypothesis-driven research to data-driven research. The humungous amount of personal data collected through personal records and sensors from different medical devices needs a platform of storage. This is where cloud computing becomes important. Further analysis of these data can enable smarter healthcare system with personalized diagnostics and assistance. By controlling and analyzing trivial and non-trivial connections between different sensor signals and existing big data, new ways to provide remote diagnostics, and a better understanding of disease and development of innovative solutions for therapeutics can be easily achieved.
Self-Service Analytics will be on the Rise
People will become less reliant on IT department as most of the functions can be handled with data integration and automation. The BI tools will increasingly become simple and self-sufficient to do basic functions. Analytics as a service will become more common.
Industrial internet of things (IIoT) will be Benefitted
IIoT has been receiving growing attention from both academia and industry and is at the forefront of the application of the three technologies. It generally is comprised of a variety of connected devices and is supposed to monitor, collect, exchange, analyze, and instantly act on information to moderate the industrial device’s behavior or the industrial ecosystem. Keeping this in view, the convergence of IoT, cloud computing, and big data in IIoT is as an essential component.
Edge-Computing Will be Widely Adopted
Acting on real-time data has become a necessity. The importance of real-time action will increase due to the deployment of these technologies. Big data and IoT both enable real-time, on-demand action. In this view, edge computing is also becoming very popular.
The convergence of IoT, big data and cloud can provide new opportunities and applications in all the sectors. It has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our society. However, technical challenges like security issues and infrastructure need to be addressed before its potential can be fully realized.