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Breadth of IoT Highlights Importance of Process Innovation

Joshua Hoffman
February 26, 2015

The Internet of Things movement has been emerging as widespread network connectivity and devices that can communicate with one another automatically over the network proliferate. These technological advances come together to form an Internet of Things - a network in which a variety of devices, ranging from toasters to sensors, drones and even light bulbs can respond intelligently to data from other nearby devices.

"BPM solutions put IoT data in the right context for end users."

According to a recent Mashable report, the breadth of IoT capabilities is set to revolutionize urban landscapes the world over, presenting a variety of new challenges and possibilities for engineers, city planners and other urban stakeholders.

The connected city is not a future pipe dream

According to the news source, the long-term vision for intelligent systems for street lamps, traffic lights, utility systems and even sidewalks is not some kind of science-fiction dream. Smart cities are emerging around the world, ranging from locations likeMasdar City in Abu Dhabi that are fully embracing IoT technologies to Los Angeles, where street lights are synchronized to improve traffic management. Jason Kelly Johnson, cofounder and design partner at Future Cities Lab, told the news source that the range of IoT possibilities is huge.

"I can't honestly think of a field where [the IoT] won't have some effect," Johnson told Mashable. "In architecture, specifically, it will in fact shape public space; it will intersect in a visible and tangible way."

Cisco estimates that approximately 50 billion devices will be connected to networks. The number of connected devices already exceeded the number of humans in 2008. The IoT is using this widespread network access to fuel communication between devices, adding a layer of intelligence to machine-to-machine communications that could have a huge impact on what people are able to achieve.

Unlocking the full potential of the IoT through business process management

BPM tools empower organizations to connect data and processes across disparate user groups. For example, a municipal government using the IoT to manage its utility operations can get data from sensors on power lines in real time, immediately notifying employees if a line is damaged, leading to a power outage. This information on its own is extremely useful, but BPM enables organizations to establish an application platform that also sends the outage details to relevant emergency responders, government departments and other user groups that will be impacted by the outage.

The IoT gets the data to relevant users, and machines, efficiently, and BPM solutions put that information in the correct context to be of maximum use to different users.