IoT Agenda

Jul 10 2018   12:43PM GMT

Three ways open source software makes IoT stronger

Josh Garrett Profile: Josh Garrett

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ai
Artificial intelligence
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Internet of Things
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IoT analytics
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Software

Open source software has never been more valuable than it is today. But, don’t take my word for it — just look at Microsoft’s most recent move. Why else would this tech titan spend $7.5 billion to acquire GitHub, the world’s most popular software development platform?

MOBI, the company I work for, has also hopped on the open source bandwagon to create technology-driven tools. Recently, our development team launched Numberjack, a global phone number validation and normalization software to help users validate, standardize and display phone numbers in a variety of international formats.

Modern open source technologies are even expanding to include IoT endpoints. Since few organizations can ensure integration and operability with other mobile technologies currently, global IoT initiatives are increasingly using open source software to create more efficient connectivity and data communication paths.

If implemented safely and strategically, the competitive advantages open source IoT creates can be tremendous. In fact, forward-thinking organizations are already seeing these advanced initiative investments pay off in three disruptive ways: more meaningful data, advanced artificial intelligence capabilities and unlimited IoT upgrades.

Driving data insights

Organizing IoT’s constant communication is a job that’s much easier said than done — especially when managing thousands of global endpoint devices. For enterprise mobility managers, however, that’s just step one. Only after feedback is consistently collected and stored can a company start to make sense of its data insights, much less use them to make impactful business decisions.

By introducing an open source IoT software product, organizations give themselves an always-updated tool that helps accelerate internal data analysis efforts and more accurately maps a mobile technology program’s most serious information needs. This not only eliminates the time-consuming, non-essential tasks IoT management often creates, but refocuses enterprise IT resources to capturing only the most relevant, desirable data insights possible.

Some companies are even using open source IoT to streamline data processing tasks, whether it works with one or 100 different cloud storage structures. After all, it’s much easier to migrate analytics and data sets if the exact same source code can separately reside on each enterprise domain.

Accelerating AI’s impact

Another advantage open source IoT creates is the ability to take advantage of publicly available AI tools like TensorFlow, Google’s deep learning AI framework. Since 2015 (when Google handed over TensorFlow to the open source software community), global IoT initiatives have relied on tools like these to create training models that prepare enterprise technologies for a virtually unlimited number of business applications and use cases.

Without these publicly available AI innovations, connected IoT systems simply can’t include the features many global initiatives expect today, like native image recognition or automated predictive maintenance. Moving forward, the ability to use these insights will only become more valuable — if not essential — to ensuring seamless operability between all enterprise endpoints.

Endless IoT improvements

While a lack of proprietary IoT software does pose risks that can be concerning to IoT asset management efforts, organizations are often willing to overlook those dangers for the promise of a continuously updated code base only open source software can deliver. Unlike licensed options that are only upgraded a few times every year, open source IoT technologies feature up-to-the-minute input from thousands of subject matter experts all over the world. This means that base IoT platforms are not only always compatible with the latest enterprise technology available, but that specialized software versions and instances can be created faster and more easily than ever before. Now, even the most niche industry or application can have its own custom IoT configuration to satisfy business demands.

Open source IoT development can even help organizations overcome one of the industry’s most dangerous potential downfalls: a lack of IoT manufacturer security standards. These publicly available IoT tools set a minimum standard for global endpoint governance and processes, allowing for more collaborative software security rules that can be structured to improve security in proven, measurable ways.

While enterprise IoT software still has a long way to go before it can guarantee data security and privacy, open source development projects like Numberjack could very well be the path to a successfully managed future. It will be interesting to see whether organizations ultimately trust these new-age innovations, or play it safe and choose a more traditional approach to technology instead.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.

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