Accelerating IoT Development




According to Forbes, companies implementing Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives will see a 27 percent revenue increase by 2018. As a tidal wave of IoT use-cases hits an organization, IT may struggle to support, manage, and secure these workflows.

Last week, VMworld 2016 shined a spotlight on the IoT and how to address many of these struggles and accelerate the journey of software-defined business—from mobile devices to the data center and the cloud. Hosted by VMware, the 4-day IT event featured the technology, trends, and people who are shaping the future of digital business. Among the enterprise IoT issues addressed, PTC’s Joe Biron, SVP and Chief IoT Architect, shared with attendees how the IoT is already impacting industry today, and the challenges that come with developing for IoT.

When two worlds collide

Those in the IT world have likely heard or used the term convergence. Simply put, it’s the combination of two or more technologies into one device. It’s fusing the physical with the digital world. And these two worlds have already collided.

Examples of convergence come in smart products like Babolat’s connected tennis racquets, that can stream data about their performance, usage, and environment, or more sophisticated smart manufacturing operations where device connectivity and data analytics enable a closed-loop, real-time digital thread to connect people, systems, and equipment inside factories and across the supply chain. Through the many examples and use cases of smart products, manufacturing operations and even cities, it is clear that the IoT is real and here to stay and organizations must adapt to capitalize on its potential.

Developing solutions for the IoT

Nearly $6 trillion is expected to be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years, according to BI Intelligence. There’s widespread acceptance of the importance of the IoT, but bringing the IoT from concept to reality has challenges. 

“Developing solutions for the IoT is challenging especially with organizations looking to make money, save money or reduce risk inside of their organizations,” says Joe Biron.

In his presentation at VMworld Biron highlighted six reasons why it is so complex:

1. It is a highly dispersed device environment
With devices everywhere, pulling them together with potentially different protocols is very time consuming.

2. Constantly evolving platform architectures 
The IoT is changing quickly and having a platform that can quickly adapt to these changes is better than trying to do it manually.

3. Disparate technology frameworks
Connectivity, analytics, UI tools and augmented reality are challenging to bring together into a solution unless an IoT platform is in use that integrates all of these capabilities.

4. Repurposed legacy technology stacks
These repurposed legacy technology stacks are being sold as ‘for IoT’ but are not built from the ground up for IoT which hinders development.

5. Volume, velocity, and variety of IoT data
Data from the IoT presents many challenges to those trying to make raw data actionable. Most notably is the volume that is created, the velocity at which it is delivered and the varied type of data.

6. Project requirements outweigh current resources and development tools
There are many organizations embarking on an IoT journey but most don’t have the resources, time and money to meet the needs of the business and realize the value.

Accelerating IoT Development

VMware recently joined the ThingWorx Ready program that helps participating companies to build or offer products or services compatible with ThingWorx to help accelerate IoT solution development. VMware is combining its new IoT edge software, Liota, and device management capabilities with the ThingWorx rapid application enablement platform and analytics components. The combination enables a stronger combined offering that is scalable for companies that are building connected device management IoT solutions.

Says Biron, “we’re so excited to be working with VMWare because together we can complete the entire picture, with a born-for-IoT platform stack on top and the best-in-class device and app management, operational analytics, data orchestration, and security as the infrastructure backbone.”

The IoT is set to change the future of industry, business, and day-to-day life. To be successful with IoT development initiatives and accelerate the creation of innovative IoT applications it is important to have the right organizational structure in place, the right technology platform and solutions, and the support of a strong partner ecosystem.