Michael Hay

Will Cloud Computing Survive the Internet of Things? (Introduction)

Blog Post created by Michael Hay Employee on Jul 14, 2014


In an effort to explore the tensions between the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing I'm initiating a new blog series.  Like the Financial Forum series the works will all be referenced here as they are developed.  Or said another way this introductory post will triple as the introduction, table of contents and place to keep all of the references  straight and in one place -- actually all of the references are now included below.  At the end of the series I'll intentionally be recruiting inputs on exactly if the fundamental hypothesis is on or off base, and if possible encourage folks to talk about their perspectives.  As a bit of reference this work is derived from a paper I did in my last class for my Master of Science in Industrial Engineering.  So with all of that out of the way let's get into the discussion by first setting the stage.


Table of Contents

  1. The Force of Cloud Computing
  2. The force of Internet of Things
  3. Reflections and Conclusions



From delightful devices like Apple’s iPhone to mundane offerings like Philips’ Hue LED light bulbs1, many things today are Internet connected.  In some cases these things are coupled with Cloud Computing services, and the result can transform one’s living experience.  For example I have 3137 songs, 119 movies, and 2181 TV shows digitally stored in Apple’s iCloud service.  If I were to maintain physical copies of this content on CDs and DVDs, I'd have to maintain approximately 136 kilograms2 of media assets.  Maintaining these copies digitally is transformative for activities like moving between countries and being able to bring my son’s video collection anywhere in the world.  However trends like the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing offer hints at a world of more profound changes.


Imagine an operating theatre where surgical towels count themselves.  While this might sound far-fetched, the Internet of Things Architecture Working Group has developed and prototyped use cases exactly like this [1].  The benefit is that hospital staff can be, “… assured that no towels are retained in the abdominal cavity of the patient’s body [1].”  Since it is likely that doctors and nurses confirm the electronic count of the towels, one might wonder if any kind of interaction with Cloud Computing assists them.  Could cases exist where the Internet of Things makes Cloud Computing obsolete?  This series will examine and answer these questions; and the forces of Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things will be explored to engender sufficient context and background.


  1. Philips Hue is an Internet connected LED lighting system consisting of light bulbs and a gateway enabling a user to control lighting behaviors from anywhere there is an Internet connection. More information on Philips Hue can be found on their website [37].
  2. For this calculation each album was assumed to contain approximately 13 songs and each TV season 22 episodes.  Further each album with packaging was assumed to weigh 100 grams.  Also each movie with packaging was assumed to weigh 100 grams.  Finally, each TV season was assumed to contain 22 episodes requiring a package weighing 1 kilogram.



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