Continuing the series suggested from the Financial Forum post and initiated in the post Financial Forum Detail - The Mini-CIOs are Coming I'm going to explain some of the thinking around The Internet of Things. Whether it is the mini-CIOs using mobile devices, servers, storage (Unified & Block), rich metadata platforms, trains, heavy construction, and even lightbulbs the number of connected devices is expected to reach billions by 2020. With all of these devices connected to the network new challenges will arise including handling decision making on these devices -- basically making them smarter -- and dealing with the deluge of data.
Because of several interesting ventures we're involved in (E.g. hospitals in Japan, global logistics, and global finance) Hitachi is intensely aware of scaling concerns, the need for smarter platforms, and privacy and security. (NOTE: I'll leave it to my colleagues Eric Hibbard and Andrew Nielsen to get into the specifics, the point is Hitachi is aware of concerns about security and privacy from a user perspective.) Therefore I believe we are well positioned in the market because not only do we produce devices that generate data in some cases we also operate them.
Moreover we are also interested in "mashing up" not just data types and visualizations, but also ideas. For example because we have groups in our financial services division who aid financial services companies we are putting social sentiment logic to work combined with CRM systems. While this is relatively straight forward something that isn't: taking an idea from social sentiment analysis and combining it with IT analytics. Let's dig a little deeper on this last point specifically; well since humans ultimately encode log messages into software systems and processing any language produces sentiment perhaps there is something revealing if we apply sentiment analysis to log files. Do we suppose that there are hidden statuses when we aggregate a massive number of logs, or perhaps these systems these machines are exhibiting feeling? (Yeah likely not, but it does certainly get the creative juices flowing. Cyberdyne anyone?)
Speaking of mashups we also recognize that persisting data and metadata independent of the application that stored them in open machine/human readable formats is essential. While I know that this seems super logical, I think it is concerning at the number of application vendors who insist on keeping data and metadata formats hidden, obfuscated or encrypted. This is something that becomes especially problematic when there are billions of devices connected. For example if I need to call back to an application to understand a proprietary file or metadata format will that scale? Perhaps not. So a key message hidden on this slide is the thought that as an industry we need to push the agenda of applications that produce and consume open data and metadata formats, as well as persistence layers that adhere to bonafide or pervasive defacto standards.