A retailer or a business currently has a lot of data they can get from a variety of sources, including their suppliers, customers, and employees. These data are easy to analyze. You can get insights such as which of your products are selling well and what time you have more customers inside your store.
With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), however, you get a lot more data from a whole lot of sources. Because you have data from different sources, it may not conform to the categories you’ve been using.
What are you supposed to do with the influx of information from IoT? Will you just ignore it?
Of course not. You will need to manage all that data, analyze, and then get better insights from it.
Artificial intelligence helps
Admittedly, it is going to be physically impossible for people to go through all that data. You will have to contend with petabytes of data coming from all around and at a very fast pace. Each second can easily mean receiving a long list of information. In short the volume of data you get, and the pace that you get them is simply staggering.
This is where artificial intelligence comes in. Oracle’s John Barcus says that you can use AI to use all that information and even correlate it to other pieces of data you get.
All that data you get from the Internet of Things can open exciting doors for you. You’ll be able to anticipate what your customers need, monitor how your products are doing, and be able to deliver exactly what the buyer is looking for at the right time.
AI allows you to sift through all the data you get from IoT and then add or correlate it to the data that you already have. It can connect to your enterprise resource planning systems, manufacturing execution systems, and customer service platforms.
Even when humans will be overwhelmed by the pace and volume of IoT data coming in, AI will be able to handle it all.
Another technology that Barcus says would help businesses and organizations handle data they get from the Internet of Things is blockchain technology.
Barcus, however, notes that there is still some hesitation when it comes to blockchains. Even so, companies have started looking into blockchain and try to figure out how they could use it for their purposes. Barcus hints at “impressive” use cases, but didn’t elaborate.
One good example, however, would be using blockchain to make your Internet of Things network more secure. We currently have IoT devices using a centralized architecture. The device or sensor sends information to the cloud where it is processed and analyzed, and then sent back to the source.
The problem with having a centralized architecture is that it will get overloaded. Billions of IoT devices are set to join IoT networks, which means that there could be bottlenecks in this system. That centralization will also mean that billions of weak points are going to be exposed.
Blockchain, on the other hand, is inherently secured. You can use it for scalability and affordability, even as more and more IoT devices are linked to the network.
Photo courtesy of Mike MacKenzie.