In a previous post, we discussed how Microsoft Power BI, a cloud-based analytics service, enables organizations to use interactive dashboards, reports and data visualization tools to analyze a broad range of data types. Microsoft recently introduced a real-time dashboard tile feature, which can be created by users in minutes so they can quickly view and analyze real-time data. The new features and capabilities available with Power BI make it easier for users to convert Internet of Things (IoT) data into actionable business insights.
The IoT is a system of Internet-connected, uniquely identified objects that are capable of automatically collecting and sharing data over a network. The “things” that comprise the IoT include desktop and mobile devices, corporate assets and equipment, monitors and sensors, consumer products, and even living things. Gartner expects the IoT to grow by 5.5 million new things per day to a total of 6.4 billion things by the end of this year, a 30 percent increase from 2015.
The sheer size of the IoT in terms of both devices and data creates a number of technical challenges. Maintaining reliable connectivity across a massive network of fixed, mobile, wired and wireless data sources, often with varying media types, communication protocols and capabilities, is a major obstacle. Assuming you have reliable connectivity to support a constant flow of data, this data will need to be stored and processed for real-time analysis. Security is also a significant challenge with the IoT. In fact, a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 70 percent of IoT devices lack basic security capabilities.
Microsoft’s vision of the IoT is one of opportunity and openness. The IoT is capable of helping organizations of all sizes create new business models and revenue streams, using open, scalable platforms that overcome traditional IoT challenges and maximize ROI. Microsoft’s goal is to make it easier to transform the IoT into a digital business model and seamlessly integrate people, processes and systems with corporate data and assets.
To support its lofty vision of the IoT, Microsoft has introduced the Azure IoT Suite. Azure IoT Suite connects with and captures data from things, integrates and orchestrates data flow, and enables organizations to conduct real-time analysis so data can be converted into usable information and insights. Organizations can use preconfigured applications to get started quickly and then customize them to suit specific business needs.
New and existing devices with multiple platforms, protocols and operating systems can be quickly added, allowing for fast, efficient scalability. You can integrate Azure IoT Suite with current business systems and applications to knock down data silos and keep software up to date. Remote monitoring capabilities enable you to leverage untapped data sources and improve business outcomes, while predictive maintenance functionality helps you minimize unplanned downtime. Per-device authentication allows you to create and update unique identities and credentials for each device to improve IoT security.
Microsoft Azure IoT Suite is making it simpler for organizations to launch, manage, secure and scale their IoT environments. Let AdaptivEdge help you use the IoT to improve operational efficiency and identify opportunities for business growth.
Written and composed by our Senior Microsoft Systems Engineer, Jason Lopez