Skip to main content

Three Things About the Internet of Things

Appian Contributor
August 2, 2016

The Internet of Things (or IoT) is all the rage these days.

But, why? And, is it just another crazy buzzword? Or, is this thing really the next big thing?

I remember back in10th grade, my English teacher shared her big pet peeve...and her one big rule:

"Never use the word things' to describe something. It's too vague of a description."

Yet, here we are now, working in the digital age. And, everywhere you look? There's buzz about none other than (you guessed it!) the Internet ofÖ THINGS.

But what exactly is the Internet of Things?

It's more of a concept rather than a tangible item. The main focus is communication. We're not talking about humans communicating with each other. We're talking about things communicating.

And by thing? It could be ANYTHING. If something has any technical capability to collect, analyze, and transmit data, it can become a part of the Internet of Things. This ability changes the way we should think about everyday life.

So with this in mind, here are three things aboutwhy the Internet of Things is so important.

1.) Connections can be made where not previously possible.

Before the Internet of Things, we had a bunch of individual units doing independent jobs for independent BPM solutions. Well now we're breaking down those silos and creating a network of interworking parts.

Where before we had traffic lights which would just change from red to green, they now communicate with the network of cars driving on the road. From there, traffic patterns can be analyzed to create an efficient flow of vehicles.

Everything can be connected. Even areas we didn't think connections were previously possible. With these networks, we can create a better flow of information through the system in order to improve our efficiencies.

2.) Smart systems will only grow in number.

Advanced BPM technology is creeping into all facets of life. Even air conditioning controls have high powered capabilities now. Yet none of this is bad. These smart systems do nothing but improve the way we operate and analyze our methods.

There is a saying about smart systems which states: "Where connections can be made, they will be." Preparing your business to operate with data flows will put you ahead of the curve as this technology becomes more standard.

3.) Real-time information drives real-time solutions.

As these open streams of communication grow, we get access to information at real time. Gone are the days of having to wait until a business process is completed before we can determine its success or efficiency. Real-time information exposes us to the present time of a process. Leveraging that information to enact meaningful change creates value.

It's an optimization of not just the process, but the energy and resources consumed in the process; that can be time spent completing a project or materials required to make a product. This data empowers us to be able to make whatever we were doing better than how we did it yesterday.

Things' isn't always a bad word to use. In this case, the vagueness of it is what makes it so exciting! We've reached a point where we can connect everything into a communicable network ñ and you know what? I think this Thing is here to stay.

Dalton Scanlon