• Americas

      Count on quality and consistent customer services across more than 290 data centers in North and South America.

    • EMEA

      Harness cloud and carrier-neutral data center, colocation, and interconnection solutions across Europe and Africa.

    • Customer Stories

      • XTREME-D

        Find out how XTREME-D was able to meet its objectives and has positioned itself for further growth by partnering with Digital Realty and leveraging PlatformDIGITAL®.

        Keep Reading
      • Telefónica UK

        See how they leveraged PlatformDIGITAL™ Data Hub to localise data aggregation, staging, analytics, streaming and data management to optimise data exchange and maintain data compliance.

        Keep Reading
      • Criteo

        By partnering with a company like Digital Realty, Criteo has somebody who can work with them to ensure they move a long way towards their sustainability goals

        Keep Reading
      • Join Digital

        With increasing demand for a turnkey experience, Join™ helps their customers brings the built and digital worlds together with the essential Network-as-a-Service and IT-as-a-Service offerings for Smart Buildings and Smart Workplaces.

        Keep Reading
      • AIB

        AIB, Inc., a leading data exchange and management firm serving over 1600 automotive customers, sought to diversify their cloud portfolio to realize reduced latency, increased availability, and harden security posture.

        Keep Reading
    • Data Gravity Insights Hub

      Click to learn more

    • Investor Relations

      Digital Realty owns, acquires, develops and operates data centers. The company is focused on providing data center, colocation and interconnection solutions for domestic and international customers.

    • NYSE: DLR

      $155.40

      -0.45 (-0.29%)
      * Previous Day's Close
    • Investor Relations
    • Leadership
— Blog

The IoT Future is Now

January 13, 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT), an ecosystem of network-enabled devices that generates data along the way, is the natural result of technologists and innovative companies creating sensors and wearables that constantly measure, sense, gather and transmit information. The actionable data sets delivered by these interconnected network-enabled devices provide underlying intelligence organizations leverage to drive value.

The IoT gives companies greater flexibility, the ability to extend the lifetime value of their assets. It is possible to configure a jet airliner to diagnose its own maintenance issues in a way that identifies and resolves those issues without disrupting business. The net benefit? Fewer delays for the customers and more up-time for the airlines to generate revenue. The same benefits are available with interconnected household appliances, the washing machine that alerts for maintenance before a problem matures.

Beyond Physical Assets

But physical assets -- airplanes or washing machines -- represent a small fraction of the virtually limitless applications possible with IoT. Imagine financial ecosystems giving immediate statistical feedback and identifying anomalies to the professionals managing billions of dollars. Or IoT-smart supply chains tracking raw materials from point of origin to manufacture, to shipment, to retail shelf, to final disposal providing along the way everything that’s possible to learn about a product in its lifecycle.

It’s a Data-Driven Journey

We are only just beginning to embark on the IoT journey, where IoT solutions to problems are bound only by human imagination. The proliferation of network-enabled wearables, sensors and mobile devices has both small and large firms pumping resources into innovation.

The potential is there. The ability to burrow deeper into a wide range of business-critical processes is there. So, it’s understandable that companies across various industries are pushing both their business and IT departments to break new ground to identify and create IoT implementations. IT departments can now be creative, revenue-generating resources within an organization in ways they never were before, evolving with and tackling the challenge that comes of harvesting massive amounts of data from network-enabled devices.

Buried by a Mountain of Data

We daily generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, this according to IBM. In fact, so much data is created each day that 90% of all data has been generated in the last two years. Ben Walker, Marketing Executive at vouchercloud, Europe’s biggest mobile voucher app, predicts that at this rate data generation by 2018 will be 50,000 GB per second. Depending on the IoT implementation or program, terabytes of information could be generated by a single network-enabled device. Boeing, for example, is network-enabling its airplanes to track where they go, the performance of all the individual components that keep them in the air, and the conditions within each cabin. Every flight is capable of generating terabytes of information. Extrapolate that amount of data across the number of flights that Boeing planes make each day and you get a sense of the data crush that looms.

Adrift in Data

While some companies might purge this data in a relatively short timeframe to reduce the impact on their IT infrastructures, others choose to archive the data and push it into the cloud when appropriate. Many companies, however, would prefer to hold on to this data to satisfy reporting and any other requirements they may have.

And there are other reasons to hold rather than purge.

By its very nature IoT generates a lot of very sensitive data. With wearables and mobile devices tracking people’s movements via GPS, displaying their interests, their health and vital signs, there’s very little information that can’t be harvested and stored about any individual. From a business intelligence and intellectual property standpoint, if the individual components of a proprietary piece of technology are constantly reporting their status, the information generated could be of interest to competitors.

Data Center Resilience

How the IoT is regulated and valid concerns about security will lead companies to the necessity of computing and storing IoT-generated data in highly resilient data centers. For some companies, the compute capacity of their existing data centers is likely to be challenged. Ultimately, companies implementing IoT initiatives are going to have to collect, analyze and gain actionable insights from their data as quickly as possible, identifying what’s essential or required by regulation, to store while eliminating risk. Alternatively, companies may focus on the business of extracting value from the data without straining their operational resources and balance sheet by outsourcing their data center solution.

Doorway to Innovation

The IoT is a doorway to innovation, and capabilities that might seem far fetched today are going to be reality sooner than you might expect. The amount of transparency, situational awareness and intelligence that the IoT generates stretches our collective imaginations. It’s like being back before putting a man on the moon. The successful IoT companies of tomorrow will be the ones that imagine big today.

Learn more about data center solutions from Digital Realty and how they can be part of your IoT strategy.

Share