Machine to machine communication, driving more business value from data
Businesses are increasingly recognise the value that machine to machine (MtoM) communication can offer. According to one forecast, the number of connected machines could top 50 billion. Each machine, fitted with a sensor, will transmit data on its condition, performance or location to another machine that captures the data for use as important business information.
By accessing data in real time, businesses can make important decisions based on up-to-date information. Businesses will taking a new look at the way in which products and devices can provide both data and value. That in turn will lead to more products incorporating machine to machine sensors and higher volumes of data.
Faced with the huge volumes of data that will be available from machine to machine applications, companies must find ways to convert raw data into valuable business information. To provide their decision makers with essential up-to-date information, many companies are integrating MtoM data with management information systems, improving the quality and speed of decision making. MtoM data is also becoming an integral part of quality management systems as companies seek to automate quality control to improve accuracy and reduce costs.
As a result of the growing interest in machine to machine communication, service providers are likely to face high levels of data traffic on networks that are already struggling with capacity. One possible solution is to design sensors for non-critical devices where real time information is not essential so that they transmit their data during off-peak periods when network traffic is lower.
The other challenge is to introduce standards so that data is available in an open format suitable for collaboration and sharing. As yet no standards body for machine to machine communications has emerged, although standards exist for RFID tags in M2M applications.