Enterprise IOT: Mixed Model Architecture

- By Andy Thurai (@andythurai)

This article was originally published on VentureBeat.

Recently, there has been a lot of debate about how IoT (Internet of Things) affects your architecture, security model and your corporate liability issues. Many companies seem to think they can solve these problems by centralizing the solution, and thus collectively enforcing it in the hub, moving as far away from the data collection centers (not to be confused with data centers). There is also a lot of talk about hub-and-spoke model winning this battle. Recently, Sanjay Sarma of MIT, a pioneer in the IoT space, spoke on this very topic at MassTLC (where I was fortunate enough to present as well). But based on what I am seeing in the field, based on how the actual implementations work, I disagree with this one size fits all notion.

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A Proud Storytelling Moment: Know Your Elevator Pitches

- By @AndyThurai

This story originally featured on Innovation Insights @ Wired magazine.

The year was 2002. Right after 9/11 everyone was hurting, especially the telco sector got almost wiped out – Nortel, Lucent, Alcatel, Avaya, Worldcom, MCI, and the list goes on. Some of them got completely wiped out, and some of them resurfaced years later. Anyway, the story is not about them.

I was working for Nortel at that time. I got laid off sometime in 2002, along with our entire division, when the impact hit the company. Sitting at home, living off severance and my wife’s salary/benefits, the opportunities were very hard to come by. Even the ones far and few between were crowded with lines of people wearing suits like in that movie Dick & Jane.

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Not with Intel Any More…

You might have read my recent blog about Kin Lane. I didn’t realize that I would have to make a decision of my own when I wrote that blog. Though our situations were entirely different, it is always tough to call it right when you are faced with multiple choices, especially when all of them seem like the right answer. In any case, I have decided to move on from my position at Intel in pursuit of other opportunities.

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Value of Things – Internet of Things

Recently, I had the privilege to present on IoT security, alongside Michael Curry of IBM, at the MassTLC “Value of Things” conference. You can see the slides here http://www.slideshare.net/MassTLC/andy-thurai-iot-security. I will post the video once it is published.

One of topics that I discussed, which resonated well with the crowd, was about IoTs (Internet of Things) doing both data collection and process control on the same device — Not only on the same device, but also on the same plane most times. This means if someone has access to those data collection mechanisms they also get to control the processes as well, which could be dangerous in wrong hands.

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Are you a “data liberal” or a “data conservative”?

- By Andy Thurai (@AndyThurai). This article was originally published on Xively blog site.

In the last decade, as a society, we had worked very hard toward “liberating our data” — unshackling it from the plethora of constraints unnecessarily imposed by I.T. In contrast to this, In the 90s and early 00s, data had been kept in the Stygian depths of the data warehouse, where only an elite few had access to, or had knowledge about it or the characteristics defining it.

Once we had the epiphany that we could glean amazing insights from data, even with our “junk” data, our efforts quickly refocused around working hard to expose data in every possible way. We exposed data at the bare bones level using the data APIs, or at a value added data platforms level, or even as industry based solutions platforms.

Thus far, we have spent a lot of time analyzing, finding patterns, or in other words, innovating, with a set of data that had been already collected. I see, however, many companies taking things to the next proverbial level.

In order to innovate, we must evolve to collect what matters to us the most as opposed to resign to just using what has been given to us. In other words, in order to invent, you need to start with an innovative data collection model. What this means is for us to move with speed and collect the specific data that will add value not only for us, but for our customers in a meaningful way.

Read more of this blog on Xively blog site.

Kin Lane – the stand-up guy

Recently, I had a great conversation with Kin Lane, the API messiah, on a variety of topics including API, IoT, security, and enterprises coming of (digital) age in the API space, etc. I appreciated his time after such long trip, especially with the issues he had to find parking for his jet and all :) (Those Canadians are never kind to American jets, for sure).

One of the topics of conversKL_InApiWeTrust-1000ation was about compromising integrity and beliefs for money. You might have seen his personal blog on the news lately about him turning down a big money offer to continue to do what he likes without the shackles. His blog, and the follow-up conversation we had, resonated very well with me. Some of his liberating thoughts were eye-opening to me (http://kinlane.com/2014/05/07/partnering-for-me-is-about-sharing-of-ideas-research-and-stories/).

Obviously, Kin needs no introduction. I respect his stand and thought process. If you are not following his blogs, you are missing a lot. You can find his blog site at APIevangelist.com

Kin, kudos to you. I hope when my time comes, I can be as noble and stand-up as you are. But knowing me well, I doubt that. :)

Prescriptive Analytics: Predict and Shape the Future

This article originally appeared on Gigaom

-  By Andy Thurai (@AndyThurai) and Atanu Basu (@atanubasu). Andy Thurai is the Chief Architect and CTO for Intel App Security unit. Atanu Basu is the CEO of Ayata.

Knowledge is power, according to Francis Bacon, but knowing how to use knowledge to create an improved future is even more powerful. The birth of a sophisticated Internet of Things has catapulted hybrid data collection, which mixes structured and unstructured data, to new heights.

Broken Analytics

According Gartner, 80% of data available has been collected within the past year. In addition, 80% of the world’s data today is unstructured. Using older analysis, security, and storage tools on this rich data set is not only painful, but will only produce laughable results.

Even now, most corporations use descriptive/diagnostic analytics. They use existing structured data and correlated events, but usually leave the newer, richer, bigger unstructured data untouched. The analyses are built on partial data and usually produce incomplete takeaways.

Smarter Analytics to the rescue

Gaining momentum is a newer type of analytics technology, called prescriptive analytics, which is about figuring out the future and shaping it using this hybrid data set. Prescriptive analytics is evolving to a stage where business managers – without the need for data scientists – can predict the future and make prescriptions to improve this predicted future.

Prescriptive analytics is working towards that “nirvana” of event prediction and a proposed set of desired actions that can help mitigate an unwanted situation before it happens. If a machine prescribes a solution anticipating a future issue and you ignore it, the machine can think forward and adapt automatically. It can realize there was no action taken and predict a different course of events based on the missed action and generate a different prescription that takes into account the new future.

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