Articles by Guest Author
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I recently keynoted at ISC Big Data’13 conference. To get prepped, I put together five key topics that shaped big data for me in 2013.
1. Database technology and data analytics have been around for decades. What is actually new about big data?
Indeed, in the last 20 years companies have heavily invested into data analytics infrastructures. The corresponding business intelligence (BI), data warehousing and analytics initiatives have addressed information needs of the whole enterprise including production, sales, marketing, service, and finance. However, these data platforms mainly focus on internal well-structured data. Moreover, these infrastructures have inherent performance and latency constraints. Big data technology now offers new possibilities regarding data volume and speed of analysis. Moreover, there is a focus shift on external and unstructured data. This focus shift goes beyond technology. Companies now have means to better understand and interact with their environment, e.g. customers, competitors or partners. Read more…
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In this blog post I explore the ideal functionality of M2M / IoT Application Platforms. The key purpose of such a platform is to support applications which encompass both M2M and IoT aspects, but what does that really mean? What is it that an M2M / IoT Application Platform offers that M2M platforms do not?
We think that the key areas in which an M2M / IoT Application Platform differs from the more ‘traditional’ M2M platform environment really revolve around IoT enabling capabilities, and we think that these will become the basis of competition in the M2M / IoT Application Platform space. The below graphic displays what we consider as IoT enabling and IoT supporting capabilities.
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M2M is a label that has been attached to a concept that has been around in the telco industry for years. In fact, the roots of M2M extend back over several decades and include basic fleet management solutions and SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) solutions. Traditionally, M2M solutions have been conceived and deployed as ‘stovepipe’ (or standalone) solutions with the aim of improving (or enabling) a specific process, and without consideration of how these solutions might one day be integrated into a wider business context.
In the early days of M2M, any aspiring application developers would have had to face up to the challenge of creating an entire solution stack to support their intended application. Relatively few of the components needed to develop specific applications were available ‘off the shelf’, and relatively few solution components could be shared between different applications. In all, an early M2M developer would have had to contend with three key elements of an overall M2M solution: Devices, M2M Application Environment, and M2M Application Logic. That’s a tall order, and has acted to slow the adoption of M2M to IoT solutions. However, in recent years a range of different kinds of M2M platforms have emerged to speed the development and deployment of (generally still stove-pipe) M2M applications. And, as a result the M2M market has grown into a significant opportunity.
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The Internet of Things will change everything: it is estimated that over 6.5 billion objects will be connected to the internet by 2015. It is one of the biggest technological leaps of the last hundred years. According to estimates by Cisco, a huge market beckons; experts estimate that the global market over the next ten years will be worth 14.4 trillion dollars. General Electric has calculated that 46 percent of the global economy can benefit from the Industrial Internet.
For many industries, this is opening up a growth market in which new business models and customized products and services become possible. I am convinced that this technological change will also have a huge impact on insurers and assistance service providers (by “assistance” I mean a service that immediately and directly helps the customers of insurers and other companies; the basic concept of assistance involves organizing or providing emergency help around the clock wherever it is needed).
The insurance sector is currently operating in a difficult market environment: companies are facing competitive pressures, increasing regulation, growing customer willingness to switch insurer, and low interest rates in the capital markets.
Against this background, here are eight reasons why the insurance sector should get to grips with the potential of the Internet of Things now:
1. New opportunities, new risks
While the Internet of Things holds out the prospect of helping to resolve the social challenges of our time and creating added value for individuals and companies, it also throws up new risks (the core of insurance business models) and threats for which there are currently no standard operating scenarios or security concepts. For example, attacks on transportation, logistics or healthcare ecosystems or the failure of individual constituent components might have a major effect on households, businesses, and even whole countries.
However, the Internet of Things will also change existing risk situations. Driver assistance systems and autonomous driving will significantly reduce the number of accidents and the amount of damage they cause in future. On the other hand, the issue of product liability will become more prominent. Insurers should study these threats and changed risk situations in detail and examine their effects on existing and future business. Read more…