“In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations” – Niel Gross, 1999
For decades of harnessing the seemingly limitless power of the internet, we came to a point wherein it became as essential as our basic household needs like electricity. Product creators attempt to incorporate the internet in every device that a person might want or need, making everyday things smarter and more efficient to use.
The ‘Internet of Things’ is connecting everything. It is visible everywhere as if its presence is not as evident yet.
Gartner, Inc. forecasts that the enterprise and automotive Internet of Things (IoT) market will grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020. According to the same study, utilities will be the highest user of IoT endpoints. Senior research director at Gartner Peter Middleton stated that “Electricity smart metering, both residential and commercial, will boost the adoption of IoT among utilities.”
The utility industry started deploying Smart Grid to make meter reading easier. As stated by Middleton as well, IoT devices are also used within power generating plants to monitor equipment over time, to do predictive maintenance, and to provide additional safety oversight.
The implementation of IoT in power and utilities remains steadfast with its overall goal of promoting interoperability and interconnectivity. In this context, specifically, IoT serves as the key to creating energy-driven smart homes. It also means that power and utility companies will strive to tap a range of devices to acquire as much data for them to have real-time visibility into what is happening both to their consumers and the company itself in terms of energy consumption.
Where smart devices are, a storm of data follows. All data HAS to be collected for it to be verified and converted into valuable insights.
The tie between IoT and data does not end when the data is collected. It then becomes the responsibility of the companies to create value out of this massive amount of data to improve business outcomes and remain relevant in the long run. Here is where data integration comes into play. It enables businesses to prevent data silos and consolidate data from different sources into a single, unified view.