Cisco Lays Internet of Things Foundation

Michael Vizard
Oct. 31 2013, 08:00AM EDT

One of the more intriguing aspects of the API economy is an emergence of an Internet of Things (IoT) that promises to be programmable via any number of APIs.

Looking to accelerate that existence of an actual Internet of Things, as opposed to simply having a bunch of things connected to the Internet, Cisco this week at The Internet of Things World Forum announced it is creating a new IoT Group to push the adoption of three-tier architecture for building IoT platforms.

According to Guido Jouret, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things Group, the goal is to expose the intelligence of the network that connects all these devices to allow applications to make informed decisions based on the data being generated by everything from sensors to entire discrete business processes.

The challenge with the whole IoT concept is that unless the devices connected to the Internet are in some way programmable, there is no real opportunity for developers to create new classes of applications. That means the next generation of embedded systems connected to the Internet need to expose an API in a way that makes it easy for developers to first consume the information they generate within an application, then be able to use that application to actually automate some action that changes the state of a device or, for that matter, an entire process.

From Cisco’s perspective, the company’s onePK interfaces are a critical component of turning that vision into a reality. But onePK requires organizations to deploy a new generation of routers and switches to actually implement. In the meantime, developers should take note that the scope of The Internet of Things goes well beyond the network layers to encompass IT infrastructure in general and, in particular, the management of all the Big Data that is generated by all the machines connected to the Internet.

The challenge, of course, is going to be the replacement of millions of embedded systems with new programmable platforms; an endeavor that could take most of the rest of this decade to complete.

The good news is that as the Internet of Things becomes a reality, it represents an instance of a larger Big Data market that should create billions of dollars in new application development opportunities once the API framework for building those applications is firmly in place.

Michael Vizard

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