One of the great things about technology is all the cool things it makes possible.

Everywhere you look, people and companies are using technology in truly innovative ways to fuel incredible advancements in businesses, markets and people’s lives.

Take, for instance, the Internet of Things (IoT). Once the stuff of futuristic thinking, the IoT has exploded onto the scene. It’s spreading across virtually every industry and ushering in entirely new ways for companies to reduce costs, streamline operations and launch new businesses and services.

But without the cloud as the backbone, groundbreaking IoT applications simply wouldn’t see the light of day.

The success of IoT hinges on the ability to collect, process and analyze massive amounts of data—in real time. This, in turn, requires enormous on-demand computing and analytics horsepower, as well as a robust and elastic backend infrastructure.

Sound familiar? It should, because that’s basically the definition of the cloud, which is the real enabler of the emerging “connected” world. It’s the thing that makes possible these ever-smarter applications and devices that are changing everything.

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With Accenture’s help, cloud-enabled IoT is reshaping how companies do business.@AccentureTech

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With Accenture’s help, cloud-enabled IoT is reshaping how companies do business.

For instance, Accenture developed a unique safety solution for a major oil company that relays gas detector alarms in real time and allows for workers to be located and rescued. Safety is improved through continuous gas monitoring for each individual, as well as motion sensors.

Accenture also is working with a major North America city and other local partners on a Smart Buildings Pilot Program to help building owners and operators in the city get to the next level of building efficiency with the Accenture Smart Building solutions.

You can find more examples here in our recent point of view, "Disrupting the Enterprise," speaking to driving value through the connected worker and at Accenture Mobility.

If you’re serious about embracing the IoT, you need to get the most from the cloud.
In our experience, three keys can help you effectively use the cloud to drive your connected-business initiatives.

  1. Define at the outset exactly how the cloud will support your connected business.
    This includes the applications and processes you’ll move there, as well as the cloud infrastructure that best meets your business needs while minimizing complexities and risks.
  2. Take a formal and disciplined approach to cloud implementation and migration.
    This includes carefully assessing your applications to determine which you’ll migrate to the cloud and to what type of environment. Most of your apps—especially analytics—should end up in a SaaS environment so you can take advantage of the rich features of today’s SaaS solutions. But some—your most critical and complex ones—will likely move to a platform-as-a-service environment, where you can refactor the apps in the right way while keeping their business-critical functionality.
  3. Determine how best to use a cloud managed services provider (MSP).
    Migrating to the cloud—not to mention ensuring you’re continually getting the most from it—isn’t easy. It requires a lot of specialized skills, as well as a deep understanding of the cloud environment and the tools to optimize its use. That’s why many companies choose to team with an MSP, which brings advanced cloud skills, knowledge and experience gleaned from similar work across many companies. An MSP can provide valuable help with cloud strategy, infrastructure, and ongoing management.

The cloud is helping to fuel some cool IoT innovations. That’s why it’s critical for companies to make sure they carefully think through the cloud capabilities they truly need to power their IoT applications. Without the cloud, there’s no connected business. Does that make the cloud itself “cool”? Only the most hardcore technophiles would argue that it does. After all, the cloud is basically IT plumbing. But the cloud is essential to bringing to life the compelling connected-business innovations that are transforming the world and grabbing the headlines.

We call that innovating in the NEW. And we think that is pretty cool.

Siki Giunta

Managing Director – Accenture Cloud

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