Influence of Open Source on IoT & How it leads to New Business

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Internet of Things is growing faster than initially expected, transforming businesses along the way. IoT essentially opens the doors to many possibilities for businesses like innovative ways to connect with customers, converting data into forms suitable for decision-making, and even creating new avenues for enhancing customers’ experience. What’s actually quite surprising is the influence of open source technologies on IoT.
 

Analyzing the Scope of IoT

 
IoT isn’t actually something now. It’s been there for a long time – Military, Space Research etc. But once it crossed over to impact the consumer sector, IoT gained huge popularity. The fundamental goal of IoT is to change the way people interact with the world. It’s not just data that keep increasing. The scale of devices around us is huge. Pretty much everything generates data now i.e. data have become ambient.

IoT now influences many sectors including medical sector, manufacturing, industrial automation, and security. But when you consider its scope, it becomes quite apparent that IoT is still far from achieving its true potential. In the case of enterprises, the main hindrance is the challenges they face. This is where open source comes in. So far, open source managed to provide progress for the technology allowing it to become the disruptive trend it is now.
 

Why Open Source is Right for IoT

 
One of the most dominant platforms in IoT is Linux. You can find a lot of IoT devices running open source operating systems. Data centers serving IoT devices also prefer open source as it ensures interoperability and essentially future proofs the ecosystem.

Experts predict that enterprises will be investing considerably more on IoT this year, though there are still concerns about interoperability. According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, interoperability is vital for the progress of IoT adoption in enterprises. The total potential economic impact of IoT, as cited by the report, is estimated to be between $3.9 trillion and $11.1 trillion a year by 2025. Interoperability certainly makes a significant difference in the estimate.

Considering the importance of interoperability, we can safely say that open source is a must-have for sustaining the growth of IoT market. Majority of the IoT platforms today make use of the cloud on software-driven architectures. Open source already dominates the cloud emphasizing its importance once more in the IoT ecosystem though the system comes in both open and closed standards at present. So as to meet the needs of a wide array of consumers and stakeholders, interoperability between the systems involved is inevitable. This further adds to the value of choosing open standards.

Apart from this, many businesses are questioning the choice of relying on proprietary platforms to establish IoT, as those platforms are likely to disappear in the near future or might become too sophisticated to interconnect. Many surveys already claim that most of the respondents are betting on open source platforms for their IoT projects.
 

What it Means for Developers

 
The number of IoT developers also keeps increasing every year, and the count is estimated to cross 4 million by 2020. A good number of IoT developers also favor open source. For these developers, enterprise IoT proves to be more challenging and complicated than consumer IoT, as there will be more sensors involved in an enterprise application. Making applications customizable is a challenge for the developers as well.

Open source IoT and its advancements allow them to overcome most of these challenges and create solutions that promise immersive experience for customers. The enterprise software developers are provided with more opportunities to effectively design and develop enterprise IoT applications, essentially contributing to the overall prolific growth of the Internet of Things.

Written by Ajeesh Azhakesan

Ajeesh leads Verbat's Open Source Practice. He helps clients with project inception, team establishment, devising software architecture and quality deliveries throughout the product life cycle on all software projects built using Open Source technology stack at Verbat.

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