The basic idea of the Internet of Things (IoT) is inter-connectedness. Where machines with internal sensors are wirelessly connected to the internet and constantly deliver data. For the true power of the IoT to be realized, the utilization of cloud computing is a mandate.

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Machine to Machine technology and the Internet of Things is the way the world is going. Already you see things like “smart cities” and “smart sensors” in utilities becoming a common practice, rather than a scene from a 1980s futuristic film.

Cloud computing is fundamental to the IoT because of the interconnectedness I mentioned earlier. How? Let’s start with an example.

A Typical Day In 2021

You wake up, get in the shower and reach for your soap and notice it’s getting empty. Now if you experienced that today, you’d have to add it to your to-do list and hope you didn’t forget before you ran out. However, in the very near future, with the Internet of Things and cloud computing, say goodbye to the task list, it’s all automatic now.

Your shower knows and streams your soap habits so it probably already predicted you’d be running low. A sensor recognizes “bottom of the bottle” squeezing noise and recognizes your heightened blood pressure and annoyance.

It checks local grocery stores inventories while simultaneously checking your calendar to see where you’ll be going today, if there’s a grocery store local to your appointments and what time would work best to go. Then automatically creates a task and a reminder that works for you. This task is then accessible on not only your mobile device, but also your laptop, iPad or your car’s (future) dashboard.

This isn’t made possible by a string of wires, it was made possible by sensors and applications that monitor, collect, and send the data. Then, coupled with cloud computing, this information can be sent to a number of devices and all updated with you even rinsing out your loofa.

However, this means there is a lot of information coming in at once. Information that needs to be handled quickly, but also information that can provide insights to manufacturers, suppliers, and everyone in the supply chain. So how can cloud computing help?

How Cloud Computing Helps the IoT

Think about it, each culture has a standard set of working hours. In America, it’s anywhere between 8 AM and 6 PM; so that means people in the same region, in the same area, are all getting ready for work at the same time. That would be a lot of data coming in from many showers at once.

No fear, the cloud is here! It can handle the volume and speed of which the data will be received. Cloud computing’s ability to ebb and flow with spikes in demand all while accessible from any device, anywhere, is another reason it is an essential piece to the puzzle.

The second issue is the data. Let’s talk about the soap example, this is individual transactional data. However, there’s a lot of insights to be learned. For example, manufacturers can see how often the average user goes through a bottle of specific soap, they can see if that user will buy that soap again, or go for another with a longer shelf life.

These insights could enable sellers to create custom offers specific for users similar to our shower friend, deliver them to his/her phone and all by this afternoon they could buy the next bottle of soap with a $2 discount. However, this would mean utilizing the information laying dormant, or not required to complete the individual transaction example above.

In order to extract insights from this information big data solutions are necessary. They’re also a good partner with cloud solutions because of the very same reasons stated earlier. Cloud computing is an adept technology handling the amount of data and working in real time.

Although the Internet of Things has yet to be realized, it’s well on its way to becoming the new standard and cloud computing will surely be essential to its growth.

How else can cloud computing advance, empower, or support the Internet of Things? Let me know by commenting on this article or bringing the conversation to Twitter @LindseyNNelson.