People talk a lot about IoT these days. But it seems they rarely mean the same thing. Not surprisingly, this leads to some confusion. We recommend the definition which the European Research Cluster on the Internet of Things has proposed, IERC Cluster SRIA 2015, and think one can draw important conclusions from it.

A dynamic global network infrastructure
with self configuring capabilities
based on standard and interoperable communication protocols
where physical and virtual ”things”
have identities, physical attributes, and virtual personalities
use intelligent interfaces,
and are seamlessly integrated
into the information network

The European Research Cluster’s definition clearly highlights that the ”I” in the Internet of Things is essential. With an infrastructure of globally connected “things” we have surpassed Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication.

The fact that these “things” come with unique capabilities (”personalities”), built-in intelligence and self-configuration capacities, means they truly enable edge computing. And the edge to which your system delegates processing tasks may exist within a component that by nature belongs to a different system. And this system was perhaps not even available at design-time.

The definition of IoT brings new architectural requirements

The conclusion you can draw from this IoT definition is far-reaching. Architectures, the organizations of systems depending on components which relate to their environments and one another, are severely impacted once components become intelligent and connected. IoT therefore introduces new requirements on software architectures. The impact is further discussed in IT goes IoT and Everything as a Service – in your cloud.

It is also a defining thought in our IoT workshops which have a strong focus on modern architectures and how they can complement existing infrastructures.

At Data Ductus we specialize in helping companies and public organizations to embrace these new IoT challenges and use them to drive change and embrace new opportunities. Getting started is just a workshop  away.