How the IoT caused the Internet of Upside Down
The architecture around the Internet of Things and the constraints it poses has fascinated me for a long time. The good news for insurers is integrating the Internet of Things into insurance processes has some fairly common patterns now as described in my recent report [http://celent.com/reports/emerging-architecture-internet-things]. For those with responsibility for the infrastructure of the Internet however, it is providing some interesting headaches.
Why do I say upside down? In the early days of the Internet it was a collection of machines each with broadly the same importance connected together. As information services moved onto the Internet, followed by commerce and retail sites, banks and insurers and then streaming companies the Internet shifted more towards many machines seeking to consume from a (relatively) few machines.
To support this demand architectures evolved to n-tier structures where data storage areas sat behind application servers, which sat behind web servers and then, not that long ago, caching servers and content delivery networks.
The Internet has become a pyramid with a consumers machines at the bottom, hooked up to broadband geared towards downloading content quickly and increasingly powerful infrastructures delivering that content to be consumed.
And then homes became data rich farms...
Suddenly homes are the sources of data everyone wants! Key information possibly of use to insurers even, now sits on devices at the bottom of the pyramid. In practice the Internet is shifting more towards the structure it had originally, but the infrastructure supporting todays services is not well suited to this new paradigm - or perhaps one that has re-emerged.
In practice, most of this activity has moved from a pyramid to a less structured cloud already but software of the Internet is still catching up.
So as you're looking at InsurTech firms or attending InsTech groups spare a thought for those poor architects and operations staff of the Internet and the headaches you're causing.