Vendors rushing to be the first to release Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets and ecosystems need to urgently increase collaboration and treat the IoT race as a marathon, rather than a sprint, the Chair of oneM2M Technical Plenary warned recently (18 February 2016).
oneM2M is the global standards initiative that covers requirements, architecture, API specifications, security solutions and interoperability for machine-to-nachine and IoT technologies.
Speaking ahead of Mobile World Congress (22-25 February 2016) – which showcased the latest in mobile technology – Dr. Omar Elloumi (Nokia corporate CTO group - pictured) said the full potential of IoT could only be realised if service providers and vendors alike look at it as a customer-centric opportunity while remaining focused on the bigger picture.
Without this, according to Dr. Elloumi, IoT growth will be stunted and the market will become heavily fragmented, leading to security issues and vendor lock-in.
“According to the 2015 McKinsey report ‘Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things’, interoperability will unlock 40% of IoT revenue – that alone shows just how damaging launching products could be without carefully considering interoperability,” said Dr. Elloumi.
“The time required to create globally harmonised standards can create frustration for many of us, but this is nothing compared to the frustration consumers and industries will experience if their newly installed IoT system requires multiple controls for multiple devices and actually complicates their lifestyle or operations rather than simplifying them.”
Security is another major obstacle that detailed and well-documented specifications can overcome, continued Dr. Elloumi, with security functions covering identification, authentication, authorisation, security association, sensitive data handling and administration.
There is a large variety of deployment scenarios to take into account, involving any type of device, meaning multiple modular authentication and provisioning options and cost-optimised security according to operational requirements.
This is one area which oneM2M has addressed by developing globally recognized technical specifications which tackle the need for a common IoT Service Layer that can be readily embedded within various hardware.
Seamless interworking with multiple protocols, such as OMA LWM2M, OIC and AllSeen is another area where oneM2M provides a significant value proposition to resolve the interoperability issue.
Dr. Elloumi concluded: “The IoT is still a nascent market. The ability to spin up a new solution can be quite daunting; there is a lot of effort involved in integrating a complete solution especially if you have to deal with legacy systems; this is the case for smart cities in particular.
“Standards-based solutions give you an eco-system of multiple solution providers which is the only way to ensure multi-vendor interoperability and supplier choice and, therefore, deliver on the actual promise of IoT.”