The Internet of Things (IoT) has been gaining momentum rapidly, causing many enterprises and value-added resellers (VARs) to consider the impact of the trend and to look at different Internet of Things platforms based on a number of critical qualities. Now that momentum just got a rocket boost, thanks to Cisco. That means there's never been a better time to learn more about IoT benefits and position yourself as a resource for customers moving toward an IoT strategy.
What has Cisco done to advance IoT? Let's take a look.
Meet the system
Cisco was among the first system vendors to harness the power of IoT and incorporate additional layers of data, processes, and management — a comprehensive approach that was called the Internet of Everything.
Now the vendor is broadening its portfolio even more with the new Cisco IoT System, designed to address the complexity of digitization with an infrastructure that can manage large-scale systems composed of diverse platforms and endpoints. That means an enterprise's tsunami of data can be controlled, analyzed, and used with significantly more effectiveness.
The Cisco IoT System comprises six "pillars" that combine with each other. These pillars are network connectivity for purpose-built routing, "fog computing" that extends computing capability, security that unifies cyber and physical controls, data analytics for an optimized infrastructure, automated management to support multiple siloed functions, and an application enablement platform that offers a set of APIs so partners and vendors can deploy their own IoT System applications.
Along with the system, Cisco also unveiled more than 15 new IoT products, related to the six pillars. For example, within the security pillar are two products that bring more physical and cyber protections to enterprises. One is a high-quality, 360-degree camera that can host third-party software applications, and the other is an analytics product that brings together metadata generation, audio detection, and sensor aggregation.
As Cisco has noted, IoT is increasing the connectedness of people and things on a once-unimaginable scale, and the vendor points out that connected devices outnumber the world's population by 1.5 to 1. The pace of IoT adoption is accelerating thanks to increasing interconnectivity, the proliferation of applications that connect supply chains to customers, and growth in analytics and cloud computing.
The advantages for business can be significant. Not only can enterprises bring products to market more quickly, but they can also increase efficiency, adapt to changing regulatory requirements, and manage a mobile workforce.
Cisco notes on its IoT site, "The opportunities presented by the IoT far outweigh the challenges if managed with the right partner. The connection of devices, machines, and things allows you to dynamically generate, analyze, and communicate intelligence data, increase operational efficiencies, and power new and greatly improved business models."
Step forward for IoT
Cisco estimates that 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Yet, more than 99 percent of items in the physical world aren't connected. That presents enormous opportunities for digitization, giving enterprises and VARs a launching pad for innovation and sales.
In a news release on the IoT Systems, Kip Compton, Cisco's Vice President and General Manager of IoT Systems and Software Group, says that the system provides a comprehensive set of technologies and products designed to simplify and accelerate the deployment of IoT infrastructure. According to Compton, "The unique systems approach delivers a framework that makes it possible to deploy, accelerate, and innovate with IoT."