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December 2015, Volume 3, Number 6

IoT applications make advances, but hurdles lie ahead

Data is an upside and a downside to the Internet of Things. Many companies are eager to make IoT products or add IoT capabilities to their devices, and some don't go beyond that. But taking IoT from cool toy to useful tool means doing something with all the data IoT applications produce.

In the cover story of this issue of Business Information, executive editor Craig Stedman shares stories from companies that are implementing IoT applications and capturing the data they create. Businesses that have made the decision to invest in the IoT describe the changes they made to their organizational structure and technology infrastructure to be ready for the onslaught of data from connected devices. For example, one company using IoT-enabled equipment, Rockwell Automation Inc., now uses two databases to store all the incoming information.

Manufacturing companies such as Rockwell had a bit of a jump on the IoT. In another feature, executive editor David Essex writes about how sensors laid the foundation for IoT applications. But that doesn't mean adopting full-blown IoT is easy for manufacturers. "It can be hard to get wireless connectivity into manufacturing facilities that are laden with concrete walls and heavy iron pipes and machinery," writes Essex. One thing is certain: IoT capabilities are going to be an investment for any company, and it's one that more and more are willing to make.

Also in this issue, Essex talks with Phil Crannage, core systems director at British Gas, about a project he's leading to move the U.K. energy provider to smart meters by 2020. Our look at an emerging technology or term -- What's the Buzz? -- tackles the hype and reality of data storytelling. And Stedman returns with a column on the diminishment of MapReduce.

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