One of the hottest trends in tech right now is the Internet of Things, or IoT. Morgan Stanley projects that within the next five years, as many as 75 billion smart connected devices will be communicating with each other via IoT. Research from Gartner predicts that IoT will generate nearly $2 trillion in global economic value by 2020.
Companies are scrambling to take advantage of the power of IoT, but are held back by ageing systems that may no longer suited to the needs of modern consumers. In fact, another research report from Gartner suggests that as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more ubiquitous, traditional operating systems like Windows will become obsolete, placing greater value on speed and accessibility.
Whilst IoT has been talked about for many years, it has only just started to gather momentum, as a series of new technologies reach sufficient maturity to make it cost-effective, such as next generation Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags with the ability to detect ambient temperature, air pressure, or moisture and transmit that data directly to the internet.
According to Nitin Rakesh, CEO and President of global IT and business solutions provider Syntel, IoT is putting unprecedented pressure on companies to modernise and migrate their legacy systems in order to cope with growing consumer demand.
"Companies that wish to remain competitive must maintain a razor-sharp focus on legacy modernisation," said Rakesh. "A robust and holistic approach to enterprise automation provides a central backbone that empowers companies to modernise so they can survive and thrive in the two-speed world and harness the capabilities of the new IoT paradigm."
As the IoT tidal wave gathers strength, a gap is emerging between companies reliant on ageing legacy systems and the growing demand for digital connectivity by consumers. This "Digital Disconnect" will create unprecedented challenges for companies across a many sectors, including Banking, Insurance, Healthcare and Manufacturing.
In order for companies to become IoT ready, they must find a way to unlock the data within their legacy systems whilst upgrading to more modern digital platforms that support the constant stream of real-time data that IoT-connected devices generate.
Mr. Rakesh's company, Syntel, advocates a methodical, three-pronged approach for enterprises looking to modernise to new platforms and operating systems.
First, legacy systems are evaluated and automation is applied in order to optimise the management of any business-critical systems that must remain on legacy platforms. Second, non-critical applications and assets are migrated to new platforms that leverage modern infrastructure and operating systems. Finally, the entire environment is modernised by overlaying the latest digital technologies onto the application environment.
The entire process should be carefully managed in tandem with a qualified service provider, and the resulting computing environment will enable clients to take advantage of the benefits apportioned by IoT.
"No area of our lives will remain untouched by this all-encompassing trend," said Rakesh. "IoT changes the way that successful businesses and service providers work."
"For example, auto insurance companies can tailor their premiums on the actual driving behaviour of their policyholders, instead of basing their premiums on actuarial tables. Doctors can remotely monitor vital signs such as blood pressure or heart rate without having to visit their patients."
"The transformational impact of IoT for consumers is so compelling that companies are recognising the significant potential this will provide to them, to help place them on a critical path to growth," he concluded.