Most organizations have now come to understand that the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a new wave of technologies that has the potential to disrupt the competitive landscape within their industry. Most of them also recognize they don’t have the internal IT resources required to master all the technologies involved.
To help organizations lower that technology barrier, Oracle has expanded its portfolio of IoT applications in addition to announcing that machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies will be built into the company’s entire IoT portfolio.
Bhagat Nainani, group vice president for IoT Applications at Oracle, says that in the last year, organizations of all sizes have made it clear to Oracle that they are a lot more interested in acquiring IoT applications that provide a three-month return on investment (ROI) than they are building their own IoT applications.
“Most organizations need a starting point,” says Nainani.
Nainani says once customers attain some form of initial return, Oracle then says an organization becomes more likely to build new IoT applications or extend existing applications to encompass IoT functionality.
IoT applications being added to the Oracle portfolio include Digital Twin, which enables organizations to create a digital representation of any physical asset that they can use for training or analytics purposes. Oracle is also adding a digital field service application for monitoring technicians and other personnel, a Smart Connected Factory that employs virtual reality technologies to create a model of a factory floor, and a digital fleet management application that can be used to track assets as they move from one location to another.
Oracle is also making available a Digital Tread framework through which silos across a supply chain can now be more easily integrated on an end-to-end basis.
Nainani says Oracle sees an opportunity for differentiating itself in the IoT space by providing both applications as well as platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments for building custom IoT applications. Customers, however, are also making it clear they want vendors such as Oracle to do the research and development required to figure out which algorithm optimizes which process, says Nainani.
IoT techoloogies are not only going to extend the enterprise IT application portfolio, they will also result in just about every existing enterprise application being upgraded to support some form of time-stamped data generated by IoT devices. That requirement creates a scenario where savvy IT organizations need to balance the long-term needs for an extensible IoT architecture against the requirements of a business that wants to employ a specific IoT application sooner than later.