n 1965, Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, articulated a prediction that revolutionized the electronics industry and illuminated the path towards the current era of digital transformation. Now known as Moore’s Law, this breakthrough observation found that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention, a pattern that would continue into the foreseeable future. Moore’s Law, still relevant today, became a springboard for the innovation behind microprocessors. The ability to integrate microprocessors into virtually any small object – via a cost-efficient process – has launched an era in which every-day “things” can be connected. In fact, research finds that by 2020, more than 50 billion devices will be connected. That is nearly 7 connected devices for every human on the planet, giving rise to the vision of a fully connected world referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT).
The IoT can be defined as a network of interconnected objects that are uniquely addressable based on a set of standard communication protocols, helping create smart networks composed of devices communicating with one another. But connecting these innumerable devices poses a significant challenge. It is often stated that a common monolithic connectivity solution will form the basis for a “massive IoT.” Indeed, many reasons exist for driving a single solution. Most common among them is economies of scale for the connectivity providers; however, business requirements vary considerably from one application to another, and a common monolithic solution circumvents end-user experience, leading to a loss in customer value. That said, the question will surely arise: “Is this solution providing value even?”. A common monolithic connectivity solution is also considered as “the right way” to enable Big Data, a revolutionary step for mankind. A subsequent question arises, however, as to whether the connectivity layer itself will lead to the existence of Big Data and enable new services. Does this imply that the systems are unwilling or unable to share information at a higher abstraction level between clouds?
In this paper, Frost & Sullivan and Wirepas challenge the assertion that a common monolithic connectivity solution rightly forms the basis for IoT by examining factors influencing the choice of a connectivity solution. The discussion addresses how business models should drive development of technical solutions, and not the other way around. Finally, the paper examines selected IoT applications across various degrees of maturity such as Smart Cities, Smart Meters, logistics, asset tracking, and the Industrial Internet, highlighting the key business requirements for a successful transition into the world of connected things, processes and people.
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