Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Critical Connections & Collaborations in the Internet of Everything

The Internet of things (IoT) offers great opportunity for organizations aimed taking advantage of the new digital world of new of advanced interactions with their existing and potential constituent communities. While there is great potential for effective interactions that can yield revenue, speed, and savings with ease and satisfaction, there is an underlying complexity and number of people, things and enterprises that must be enabled in contexts and situations dynamically in real time. This means introducing new methods, techniques, technologies and positioning existing systems and technologies in new ways. There are three areas of technologies that must be working together effectively in new success patterns. The areas are business process management (BPM), business rules/constraints management (BRM) and machine to machine interactions (M2M) connecting and collaborating.

BPM Takes on Additional New Roles:

BPM is normally acting as a central control mechanism that manages the process from a holistic “end to end” perspective. While interactions with the IoT can still work that way by asking for an assist from a sensor, a combo package of smart/collaborating sensors or a sensor clusters. With the advent of IoT, now BPM can be triggered to play out specific set of prescribed of actions often called a process snippet (a portion of an end to end process). Also human collaboration can be requested for knowledge assists, collaborations and authorizations. BPM can also be embedded into an intelligent and complex physical device like a lawn cutting robot.  The result for BPM is more utilization; not less, but this will require a different mindset in the leverage of BPM. 

BRM Takes on Additional New Roles:
BRM is normally acting as a local decision mechanism in the context of an overall process or application. While these kind of interactive decisions will still be leveraged, rules will be combined with events/data to recognize patterns and notify or collaborate with humans, systems, sensor packets and complex physical devices. In addition, rules will be combined with additional search and analytical mechanisms to produce more cognitive problem solving.  Like BPM, BRM will be also embedded complex physical devices to guide the sensing, thinking and actions of said devices. In additions rules can be stated in terms of constraints that can act as boundaries of free ranging devices, processes, systems and human interactions. The result for BRM is more utilization, but this again will require a different mindset in the utilization of BRM.

M2M Introduces New Standard Collaborations:
Flexible options will be needed in the configuration, collaboration and communication of physical devices that can range from simple sensor nodes to complex agent based controllers. This will require the local integration of various sensors, actuators and other devices with communication security. Additionally there needs to be back end support for data, asset and UI management assisted by big data driven analytics.  

These machine collaborations are dependent on information models that separate the uniqueness of the device from the uniqueness of another device. In other words, there needs to be a standard meta-model of the communication and collaboration of the devices by describing their properties and capabilities. This creates a data hand shake that can be understood in a universal model for any communication. It is important also to have level of abstractions (meta-data) to speed development and execution of these communications and collaborations.  The best example of this is the Eclipse Vorto Proposal.  See https://projects.eclipse.org/proposals/vorto

Net; Net:
In order to facilitate the leverage of the fast growing internet of everything, there will be an emphasis on emerging patterns of the leverage of BPM, BRM & M2M supported by standards on leveraging big data analytics. This means linking of these contributing technologies to sense patterns, make decisions and act in concert to reach goals that change with emerging situations. The successful digital organizations will figure out how to leverage these approaches and technologies in their business models, services and products. 
Don't be surprised if the technology lines blur and that you will get dragged into new technologies as your digital organization emerges or transforms. We are already seeing it in IoT enabling vendors like IBM, Bosch, Pega & Tibco