The coming wave known as the Internet of Things is going to force businesses to relearn much of what they know about data, according to Hewlett Packard Enterprise's top IoT executive.
Tom Bradicich, HPE's vice president and general manager for servers, converged edge and IoT systems, told an audience of business and government users at last week's Nth Symposium, HPE partner Nth Generation Computing's annual conference, that IoT is bringing together information technology and operations technology in a way that will change how they do business.
"It's coming," Bradicich said. "And it's a big business opportunity for many in this room."
Businesses will have to learn to deal with increasingly growing amounts of big data from a ever-widening range of sources, Bradicich said. This includes data from traditional IT sources including enterprise data; business events such as log, process and control information; and external data including stock price changes, medical data and inventories.
Other sources include up-to-the-minute data from social media and related sources, and from other "things" including data acquisition, natural phenomena and IoT -- including even from pets, he said.
"There's pent-up demand in things, even dog food bowls that Tweet you when they're empty," he said. "It's data. It's of value to the dog."
Data from those "things" in the physical analog world will be sourced from nature, people, electrical and mechanical devices, the environment and objects, Bradicich said. That data is primarily acquired by sensors and then digitized via some kind of analog-digital conversion.
That data can be captured from almost any interaction in the physical and natural world, Bradicich said. Things that can be captured include changes in light, sound, temperature, voltage, radio signals, moisture, vibration, velocity, wind and much more.
The amount of data from things is already eclipsing data from all other sources, Bradicich said. He cited the self-driving car, which can generate 4 TB of data per day, per car. "Imagine how much data will be collected from 10 million self-driving cars on the road by 2020," he said.
Customers will increasingly find themselves working on the "edge," Bradicich said. He said the edge, and not the data center or the cloud, is where the things are that are generating data.