Presentation: Thinking Strategically About IoT



10:35am - 11:25am

Day of week:



Key Takeaways

  • Identify what the key parts of an IoT solution look like
  • Plan how to process embedded device data into information with analytics
  • Learn how to create the minimal viable product to understand the benefits of an IoT solution


Cool? Useful? Disruptor? All of the above? IoT is having an impact on more and more industries. As the cost of instrumenting things and collecting data drops, the possibilities for what we can control and the kind of insights we can gather increase. Not only is IoT hardware cheaper and more pervasive, developing IoT software is now far more accessible. That doesn't mean there aren't tricky bits. Does Java have relevance in the IoT world? How can you keep the system reliable and handle failure in a cost-effective way? How can you cope with the data volumes? What's the best way to turn raw data into insight?


What’s the main focus of the work you are doing today?

The IBM Bluemix Garage combines design thinking with a platform as a service and extreme programming into a whole, to allow us to solve business problems in a more lean way than is traditional. Being able to create a minimum viable product initially allows us to get something out in front of the customer to allow them to experiment and to guide the future direction.

The process is open and collaborative; usually, the customer has spotted an opportunity, and they can come in and expand the ideas in a workshop to lead us to a minimum viable product that is cheap and easy to create to determine whether the idea has legs and future investment is a sensible business decision.

What’s the focus of the talk?

It’s an introduction to IoT – it’s becoming more accessible and used in a lot more places, but not everyone knows how to apply IoT to their business domain. There will be a demo using an embedded device with MQTT and a Java toolkit for MQTT. But the technology isn’t the focus of the talk; it’s more about the big picture of IoT and whether embedded devices are relevant to business. It’s not just about using embedded devices to capture data; it’s the analytics of that data after it has been collected that acts as the multiplier.

What do you feel the attendees will take away from this talk?

Attendees will be able to take away knowledge from this talk that provides an on-ramp for people who may be interested in IoT but don’t know where to start; or conversely, whether IoT will be something that the attendees are not ready to adopt right now. IoT is exciting at the moment, and captures the imagination since it affects everything we interact with and there’s this idea of enchanted objects, which makes the real world more magical. But for businesses, getting from there to providing value or innovation is the next step.

The talk is also going to address questions, such as: How do I identify if there’s a user problem that can be solved with IoT? What does the technical infrastructure look like? What about security? What will be done to the data collected from IoT devices and how is it going to be processed?

On the edge there’s limited resources and connectivity so the devices need to be programmed in a different way. When the data goes to the server, there's a different volume of scale, which introduces expenses of data processing and finding the right analytics.

Who is the talk aimed at?

It’s aimed at developers and architects who are interested in IoT and want to know if they should be building technical skills on for the future, and what kind of questions to ask in the future?

Speaker: Holly Cummins

Senior Software Engineer @IBM, Committer on Apache Aries

Holly Cummins is the technical lead of IBM’s London Bluemix Garage. She was previously delivery lead for the WebSphere Liberty Profile. She is a JavaOne RockStar, and has also spoken at Devoxx, JavaZone, JFokus, The ServerSide Java Symposium, JAX London, GeeCon, and the Great Indian Developer Summit. She is a co-author of Enterprise OSGi in Action.

Find Holly Cummins at

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