The Internet of Things (IoT) is the world of network connected devices, especially devices dedicated to monitoring objects and living things in order to achieve a business outcome.
IoT systems depend on data, and that data travels in at least two directions. Data is collected from sensors and other monitoring devices, and data is delivered as commands and payloads for remote devices under control.
Boomi provides a fast, agile and scalable platform for transforming and integrating data from devices with business applications and people. Our integration platform as a service (iPaaS) delivers IoT integration and data transformation regardless of where the device data and business applications reside — in the cloud, a datacenter, or at the edge.
In this post, we’ll look at five ways that Boomi delivers business value for IoT. First, though, let’s take a look at what IoT really means and what it requires.
Watch our on-demand webinar, “Achieving Business Outcomes for IoT,” to learn where the industry is headed, inhibitors to realizing IoT value, and how to get started.
IoT Solutions and IoT Architectures
To really understand the value of IoT implementations, I think it’s useful to begin with these two definitions.
An IoT solution collects sensor data from physical objects and living things, analyzes and potentially correlates that data with business data, and takes action based on the result to accomplish a business goal.
Let’s parse this definition, one phrase at a time. IoT devices range from temperature sensors to actuators that move levers on factory floors. They collect data from the physical world, which could be anything from farm fields to energy plants to healthcare patients.
To use these devices for business, we need to think about their ultimate purpose. What are they sensing (collecting data) or actuating (taking physical action) for? There must be some kind of – let’s skip to the end of the definition – business goal.
We’re deploying these devices for a reason. We want to improve the efficiency of power grids. Or we want to detect pollution more quickly so contamination can be contained and cleaned up. Or we want to track the vital statistics of ambulatory patients so we can deliver better care, more quickly. In all these cases, a business goal is driving the use of this technology.
An IoT solution is everything – hardware, software, workflows, knowledge, user behavior – that makes the realizing that business goal possible.
And what’s in the center of that everything? Data. An IoT solution collects data, analyzes it, and takes action based on that data to accomplish its goal. Analysis might include inspecting data, processing data, running a rules engine against the data, or even executing some advanced predictive analytics using cutting-edge AI technology.
Working with data requires data integration, data governance (master data management), data transformation, API management, and the ability to combine these various capabilities into workflows that streamline operations. We’ll explore each of these in a moment.
An IoT architecture is all the hardware and software necessary to achieve IoT solutions that are extensible and scalable with minimal changes.
This definition is really about how we’re going to build IoT solutions.
This is a fast-moving field. Technology is changing quickly, and businesses are betting big. In 2018 alone, global spending on IoT is expected to reach $772 billion, with the manufacturing sector alone investing $189 billion.
When you bet that big, you want to make sure your investment is going to stick around awhile, even as your business grows, markets open and requirements change.
So we want an IoT solution to be extensible and scalable.
That really means we want it to be affordably extensible and scalable. I don’t want to have to hire 20 senior Java programmers every time I want to reconfigure my factory floor or grow the number of active devices by 30 percent.
I want to be able to make changes quickly and easily, and I want these changes to take effect right away. Because I can make changes quickly and easily, my IT costs are manageable.
From this IoT architecture I get another benefit, as well: agility. When I can deploy, reconfigure, scale up IoT operations quickly and easily, my IoT architecture becomes much more effective at serving my business.
My business needs can suddenly change, and my IoT architecture can change quickly to support those needs. When IT is agile, it can do a better job of the supporting that business goal we mentioned in our definition of an IoT solution.
So, business is the end. IoT is the means. And data connects the two.
This is where Boomi comes in.
Boomi Provides Critical Integration and Data Management Services for IoT
The cloud-native Boomi platform offers five distinct capabilities for IoT:
- Application Integration — Boomi Integration provides a low-code platform for rapid integration of device data with business applications.
- API Management — Boomi API Management enables IoT vendors and customers to create, publish and manage APIs for IoT integration.
- Workflow Automation — Boomi Flow makes it easy to create workflow automations to orchestrate the integration of device data with business applications and people.
- Edge Integration — Boomi Atoms can be deployed on IoT devices and edge gateways to provide data integration and data management at the network edge.
Each of these capabilities by itself is critical for building an IoT architecture. But with Boomi, enterprises get all four from a single platform — adding a fifth capability:
- Unified Access — A unified platform reduces the learning curve and the total cost of ownership, and minimizes the need to switch platforms and interfaces when moving from API management to workflow automation.
If we return to our definition of an IoT solution, we can see that Boomi provides the technology that enables organizations to integrate, transform and orchestrate device data with business applications and people. With Boomi, it's easy to automate business processes, deliver the right data to the right people, and drive engaging customer experiences through any digital channel.
To learn more about how Boomi helps organizations achieve business outcomes from IoT device data, contact a Boomi expert today.
About the AuthorMore Content by Rahul Agarwal