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Cloud computing: Making the Internet of Things a reality
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Cloud computing provides diverse services and applications delivered over the Internet using shared computing resources rather than local servers or personal devices. With cloud computing, users are able to access vast amounts of information directly 'through the cloud'. And because applications and data are stored remotely, all you need is a Web enabled device and an Internet connection.

Smartphones and tablets have swiftly changed the way we live our lives, but their impact, as such, is trivial compared with the potential of IoT combined with cloud computing. Cloud computing will empower IoT by providing flexible computing power, storage and networking. The massive volume of data generated from IoT devices can be analyzed in the cloud to gain insights on patterns of usage and behavior of machines and humans. Ultimately, IoT will bring enormous business opportunities, according to Aaron Su, Product Director, Advantech, who spoke at a recent a recent DIGITIMES organized Embedded Technology Forum.

Cloud computing will form the support system for IoT. This has already begun to take shape and it is changing the way we conduct our professional and personal lives. Su said that cross-industry cooperation is the key to this new evolution, and partnering with solution providers to simplify IoT deployment is one of his strategies. According to Su, IoT presents a mass-niche market; a market where a lot of sensors, gateways, intelligent systems, and cloud systems are deployed, and where each market, such as machine automation or retail, will require vertically-focused solutions. As a result, achieving real benefits from IoT deployment depends on the cooperation of multiple players.

Su also described the fundamental nature of IoT applications. "IoT is not about starting from scratch, it's actually about extending existing applications towards better utilization of information via the cloud."

Advantech has launched its WISE-Cloud platform, an integrated solution to connect IoT applications with the cloud. It is designed to gather data wirelessly and convert it into services for effective use in business intelligence. Advantech has collaborated with Microsoft's Azure using SUSIAccess, a remote software management tool. In addition, Advantech provides WISE-Cloud Open API packages for easy development and deployment. With Open API packages, customers can set up and deploy their applications quickly, easily, and flexibly.

IoT is evolving, so how can we all profit from IoT applications? Su described solutions in the areas of: Sensors & Controllers, Data Collection, and Value Added Services. The planet is getting smarter and devices are becoming intelligent and interconnected, so high-level data analysis and cross-application services will be the new growth engines. "That's why Advantech has collaborated and partnered with strategic partners such as Microsoft, and Linear Technology to build an IoT Value Chain. Advantech firmly believes this IoT Value Chain will bring enormous business opportunities with our integrated IoT solutions and services. We have established new business models and we are partnering with solution providers to simplify IoT deployment," said Su.

The global cloud computing market is expected not only to grow and accelerate but also to become the primary mechanism for delivering IT services going forward. The key question we ask is who and what will dominate, which enterprises and entrepreneurs? And will these disruptive technologies ultimately change consumer behavior? Without a shadow of a doubt, the cloud and IoT will bring massive opportunities to all of us, Su believes.

Aaron Su, Product Director, Advantech

Aaron Su, Product Director, Advantech
Photo: Digitimes

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