Business, Technology, Trends

The Internet of Everything

October 28, 2014

The Internet of Things

There is a great deal written and being written about the Internet of Things (IoT), and this posting will focus on recent changes and publications. The internet of things (IoT) is rapidly becoming a part of our daily home lives with home based devices, and will soon be a part of our daily professional lives and more than likely it will change the business models of our companies.

So what is the IoT? You can find an excellent summary of the IoT on Wikipedia at;

A simple summary is it is the advanced connection of devices, systems, and services– perhaps more. It is the ability to connect your refrigerator to the internet or the ability to connect the management system you have developed for your family farm to the internet and install an autonomous management protocol on that farm management system. It is what you need it to be and the impact is and will continue to be quite amazing. Today’s internet can support the addressing (providing a unique internet address) and management of 26 billion devices. If forecasts are correct, we will hit that limit well before 2020. The new Internet Protocol, IPV6, which is in the acceptance process, will support the addressing of between 50 and 100 Trillion devices. That provides growth for IoT well beyond 2020.

The Wikipedia definition highlights several industries that are currently engaging and using IoT which includes:

1- Environmental Monitoring;

2- Infrastructure Management- roads, highways, water systems, sanitary systems, power etc;

3- Industrial Applications;

4- Energy Management;

5- Medical and Healthcare Systems;

6- Building and Home Automation;

7- Transportation Systems;

The wider use of the Internet for connecting things will also be characterized by higher data flow, more machine to machine interface; more use of a sensing and actuation control strategies; and the rise of a constant ambient technology in all that we do. There are a wide range of applications that will use autonomous controls which means critical decisions will be made without human intervention. Autonomous control may, in fact, be the ultimate benefit provided by IoT.

The Internet of Everything (IoE)- Harvard Business Review November 2014

The November 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review (HBR) has a “spotlight on managing the internet of things”, with three excellent articles that continue the current conversation in great detail. The three articles are;

1- Strategy and Competition, How Smart, Connected products are Transforming Competition;

2- Information technology, Digital Ubiquity;How connections, sensors and data are Revolutionizing Business;

3- Managing Technology, With Big Data, Comes Big Responsibility;

This series of articles helps in understanding how we and our customers are changing and how we will continue to change our businesses, our surroundings- even our daily lives with the IoT. It is also the first of a two part series.

In the HBR articles, there is a very simple illustration of how the IoE could function in your daily life today. Assume your home is connected with a Security System, Nest Thermostats (a product line recently purchased by Google), Phillips Smart LED’s and a smart camera.

You are out for the evening, and an intruder enters the home. The intruder walks by the Nest Thermostat which senses the presence, but knows that the security system is armed, so he is identified as an intruder. The Nest turns the Phillips LED lights on and changes the colors to red and sets them to flashing autonomously. The camera comes and begins to record and broadcast,. You are sent an alert on your smart phone, and by looking at the camera picture, you see it is your cat, and you simply reset the system. Or –you see it is an intruder and alert the police with your smart phone. The system can also be set to alert the police as part of the autonomous response. To be clear, this is not in the future. All of this technology is readily available today at Home Depot. It is also a simple example of how the Internet of things can simplify and improve your life.

As noted in the HBR article;
“Smart connected products raise a new set of strategic choices about how value is created and captured, how companies work with traditional and new partners, and how they secure competitive advantage as the new capabilities reshape Industrial boundaries. For many firms, smart, connected products will force the fundamental questions, “what business am I in?”

Also noted in HBR;
This article provides a framework for developing strategy and achieving competitive advantage in a smart, connected world.”

The November 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review should be recommended reading by management in every industry- but in particular the professions of Development, Architecture and Engineering design, Building Management, Construction Management and their vendors, sub-contractors and suppliers. IoT is a technological change that can be introduced quickly and provide tangible benefits equally fast. It can change your business model, and will most likely change the business models of your competitors and your partners.

Applying the Internet of Things within the Development Design and Construction Industries

The internet of things, IoT, is not a completely new concept. The term was coined in 1999, and now with the advent of Internet Protocol Version 6 there will finally there be a sufficient number of addressable points to meet the forecast needs for many years.

We have proven we can make it work and implement at scale, so there is now a fast growing interest in information on IoT. That information is becoming more available thru firms that have made the decision to move forward. For example, in the WIKI Designing Buildings;

They include a recent, detailed, entry that addresses the wide range of areas within the development industry that are being impacted by the IoT. Those include;

– Asset management systems;

– Building Management Systems;

– Remote Operations of appliances, plant, security systems, etc.

– Energy Use and Conservation;

– Monitoring equipment and diagnosing faults or prognosis of future potential problems. In short, forecasting faults and initiating preventative maintenance;

– Maintenance activities throughout the building or asset;

– Monitoring, ordering, directing and tracking resources such as materials, vehicles, plant and labor to maximize productivity;

– Inventory control and storage management;

– Building Information Management;

– Knowledge management as relates to the asset. Most buildings have a data library that includes as-built drawings, shop drawings from construction, control system and other operating system manuals, and more. Managed correctly the information can be accessed and used easily.

– Condition Monitoring for comfort, safety and efficiency, which includes performance monitoring and tracking key performance indicators. These areas have enormous opportunity for autonomous decision making and control.

– Preventing theft. Security is the low lying fruit of IoT;

– Obtaining up-to-date information for bid preparation;

– Providing feedback on building behavior to improve the accuracy of modeling, analysis and simulation. This information will be especially pertinent for design firms.

– Verifying worker skills- which can include management of temp staff, management of subcontractors within the building.

– Payroll Management;

The list of opportunities to productively use the internet of things in the development professions is going to continue to grow. It is a given that there will be more and more information posted on the Web just like this Wiki. We should expect each to be more detailed and more focused.

Applying IoT (the internet of things) in construction

The construction industry has successfully resisted change over many decades, but that resistance is loosening quickly as technology flows into the industry. From Building Information Modeling (BIM) in six degrees, to extensive use of wireless communication and data flow on the construction site, technological change is a given. The Internet of Things (IoT) is finding wide application on projects in inventory control systems, in safety management, in field work force management, cost tracking and much more.

The Whitelight Group published an article in August of 2014 which is posted at In that article they listed the following key areas of application of IoT specifically in the Construction phase.

– Equipment Monitoring and Repair;

– Equipment Inspection;

– Inventory Management and Ordering;

– Energy Conservation;

– GPS Tracking;

– Electronic Time Logging;

– Wearables;

– Safety;

And much, much, more!

They have provided a downloadable white paper titled, “The Internet of Things; Manage the Complexity; Seize the Opportunity” that contains more detail in the opportunity they see with the IoT, specifically in the construction industry.

The takeaway is simple. The business case for embracing IoT is now compelling, it is growing, and it will be unavoidable.

– The Internet of things will include 26 Billion units installed by 2020- perhaps before. IPv6 envisions 50 Trillion devices.

The IoT product and suppliers will generate incremental revenue of $300 Billion by 2020 per Flexera Software.

– The IoT will result in $1.9 Trillion in global economic, value-add, through sales into diverse end-markets.

Flexera created a poster to help their clients tap into this $1.9 Trillion market- and their guidance offers a good map of how many products will come to market.

1- Simplify- Build a single device model that contains all capabilities and capacity then use licensing and entitlement management to compete.

2- Differentiate- Drive more value from your device with software, and monetize all aspects of your solution.

3- Drive revenue- The device plus software plus licensing help drive new and recurring revenue streams.

4- Grow market share and markets- Move into new markets quickly by slicing and dicing your product’s features, capacity and more.

5- Protect your IP- Protect your devices and applications against IP theft with licensing.

A final testimony

Here is one final indicator of the capital investment that is flowing into IoT, the Internet of things. In the weekly report of top industry stories in Semiconductor Manufacturing and Design ( published today, 3 of the 9 top stories relate specifically to major capital investments being made to directly serve and support IoT.

We are at the beginning of a sustained period of technological growth driven simply by—

The Internet of Everything

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