In order for this to happen businesses must start readying themselves for the much vaunted Internet of Things (IoT), unshackling themselves from the current confines and limitations of the Web.
Time for a facelift
Now just turned 25 years of age, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the current ‘HTTP’ Web architecture is the single biggest barrier keeping growing businesses from maximising the potential of the IoT. This presents a problem since the intersection of the IoT and the future will happen on the Web, and the “things” businesses want to talk to are typically encircled by Web infrastructure like firewalls, proxies and such. For example, with the current Web set-up, problems start to occur with modern businesses when they try to increase workforce mobility and service agility to boost their productivity and customer satisfaction.
But the Web is about to take a gigantic leap forward when it comes to Web communication, a leap that will go quickly and take the established World of legacy Web solutions by surprise. We have already felt the beginnings of change; the Web is moving into its next phase morphing from a static and stale network to a live, interactive, and constantly changing mesh of communication. It will allow us to interact with our friends at levels we couldn’t have imagined five years ago, solve business problems that seemed impossible, continue to innovate using the Web as a foundation for new solutions benefiting humanity, accessing systems and share information at levels never seen before. The Web as we know it today was only the beginning, now the Web will change everything.
Accelerating the Web means more business
It is here and now that Web technology offered by existing enterprise giants such as Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and Redhat will fail to deliver. Their solutions were designed with a static and stateless Web network in mind, not with an always on, and always connected World of Things. To deliver on the new premise of an event-driven Web we have to innovate and deliver solutions that are simpler, faster, and with superior scalability. We are entering a world of high performance Web communication, where time is everything and any delays, whether it is 100ms or 100µs, will cost companies millions of pounds in revenue.
To stay competitive, dynamic event-driven businesses need to extend the full power of their self-same enterprise applications onto smart mobile devices replacing their existing request/respond HTTP Web architecture with an entirely new architecture – a “Web Communication” architecture.
The good news is this is now emerging with the first industry standard technology (known as WebSocket) which can quickly and cost-effectively extend benefits of scale, speed, predictability, reliability, and security across the multiple languages (protocols such as MQTT and CoAP) spoken by the “things” that are becoming so densely connected in the IoT world. These are tailored for enabling machine to machine, person to person, and person to machine communications, allowing companies to on-board many different things (machines, individuals, and enterprises) to the Web in an always-on and always-connected state at unprecedented scale – and with enterprise grade performance, predictability, reliability, and security.
This must surely be music to the ears of the many fast-growing SME businesses in Britain already striving hard for differentiation and seeking to embrace transformative, mobile-centric digital technologies as fully as possible.
Jonas Jacobi has over 21 years in the IT industry and was instrumental in the Websocket standard adopted by the Internet Engineering Task Force in 2011.
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