Cloud computing, automated technologies and the emergence of 5G networks are coming together to help to connect devices across diverse global networks.
The age of the Internet of Things (IoT) is upon us, and it’s little surprise that a number of organisations are jumping on the bandwagon. IoT helps to connect us to the digital world, paving the way for enhanced customer experiences, improved processes and better operational efficiencies. Its potential is reflected in the fact that the global IoT market is set to be worth a staggering $1.5 trillion by 2030.
However, the ability to leverage the benefits of IoT implementation may not be as straightforward as initially thought for a number of organisations. Businesses must take a plethora of considerations into account, including the storage needed to power applications, the restrictions posed by legacy systems and the need to mitigate threats to sensitive data. Firstly however, they must ensure that the right infrastructure foundations are in place.
It’s all about data
Modernising cumbersome IT infrastructures is key, as is the need to migrate systems to the cloud to be able to fully utilise connected devices. Low latency and low cost is an imperative for businesses to fully embrace IoT, but can prove difficult to achieve. A solid infrastructural foundation is needed for huge volumes of data to be ingested in real-time. In addition, bandwidth must be sufficient to enable big data analysis and drive decision-making, with this capability gaining new significance as IoT data processing moves to the edge.
Legacy systems frequently prove to be a blocker to increased scalability and flexibility, as many products integrated over ten years ago are unlikely to possess the agility required to process, store and analyse significantly higher volumes of unstructured data. Simultaneously, understanding of IoT technology is still limited in a number of businesses, leading to hesitation and hindrances in digital transformation progress.
To ensure best utilisation of IoT, today’s data centre colocation providers are leading the way in delivering the right solutions. For example, they can provide methods to organise big data and enable low-cost connectivity, as well as share knowledge to businesses that may be unsure of the best strategy and therefore help them to navigate the implementation successfully.
Moving forward with colocation
Colocation data centres are ideally suited to bringing the benefits of IoT to businesses. For example, colocation can both enable and facilitate the connections needed to support IoT use cases, while also ensuring that sensitive data is protected. This is due to optimum levels of protection against the growing threat of cyber attacks by sophisticated malicious actors.
The benefits of colocation are evolving. For factories, supply chains, power grids, distributed products and even entire cities, it is now becoming the most efficient and flexible way to both manage and analyse significant amounts of IoT sensor data. No longer a hope for the future, smart cities are now very much real, with IoT bringing utilities, services, security and transportation together in a number of locations. Colocation providers are some of the organisations helping to make them a reality.
With businesses that have embraced IoT, network connectivity will need to grow in tandem. This means that an interconnected mesh of international and regional access hubs will be needed to enable hybrid cloud benefits through colocation networking. The ultimate intention is to ensure that data can move from each location to the next with limited costs involved for connectivity charges.
Unlocking IoT value
Opting for the right colocation data centre provider will enable organisations to make best use of the edge and enable their customers to benefit through use of IoT and cloud solutions. With so many of the IoT platforms and applications today being ‘as-a-Service’ and ‘cloud first’ by nature, moving data in the cloud will be a crucial first step to access the benefits, particularly as the number of IoT platforms and application providers continue to expand.
Organisations are then able to leverage the capability provided by colocation providers to utilise ‘anytime, anywhere’ interconnectivity alongside cloud-based storage and compute technologies. It’s this comprehensive infrastructure that will prove to be the key in being able to combine the digital and physical worlds and make best use of IoT devices.
About the Author
Bo Ribbing is Senior Director & Head of IoT for KDDI Europe. We are a leading global telecommunications pioneer and a Global Fortune 500 company providing our international customer base with data centers, networks, content delivery, system integration, and more around the world. If your business needs telecom support internationally, we are here at your service.