The rapid development of the Internet of Things (IoT) has left many companies scrambling, trying to adapt to the explosive volumes of data that just weren’t predicted (or even imagined) 5-10 years ago. Infrastructures that were designed with maximum anticipated load usage back then simply aren’t prepared to meet growing IoT demands.
In fact, many experts now speculate that by the year 2020 there will be more than 50 million connected devices forming the Internet of Things. And although that amount may seem staggering, with constant innovation taking place in the form of wearable mobile technology and smart everything—from cars to coffee pots—that number may end up looking like a mere drop in the ocean.
This situation is especially relevant for network operators in the telecom industry. Surging amounts of data coming in and the various new ways that business users need to analyze and access that information is placing a huge strain on systems. And typically, call centers are valiantly trying to cope with massive CDRs (call data records) from increased device connectivity and usage requirements.
Advantages of Adaptation
A major advantage to the Internet of Things is the capacity to analyze vast quantities of data in relation to patterns and other actionable information. However, this necessitates being able to store huge volumes of historical data for lengthy times frames.
And if database infrastructure and analytics are adapted appropriately, the competitive advantages include a host of customer service improvements such as:
- The inclusion of value-added and customized services through enhanced analytics
- Isolating patterns in archived CDRs to identify service issues and allow alterations in network configurations designed to eliminate them
- Identifying the similarities in usage patterns and service tickets to develop new offers and targeted marketing plans
Strategies for Adaptation
Adapting to the sheer volume of data engendered by the Internet of Things involves strategic planning. Employing innovative approaches to data analytical infrastructure design will help to position telecoms, and their service providers, with the flexibility necessary to meet current and upcoming IoT challenges.
A traditional approach would involve investing in a monolithic relational database, but this type of solution is little more than a temporary fix. Specialized technologies such as cloud-based ad-hoc analytics and real-time investigative database structures (like RAID) offer functional solutions for the hefty network loads present with the IoT. Being able to mine large quantities of records quickly and efficiently will allow operators to identify and react to network issues swiftly, as well as troubleshoot possible situations on an ad-hoc basis.
Possible network issues include:
- Problems with various factors captured in call records such as voice, video, or data transmissions
- Performance functionality of certain device types, operating systems, browsers, or applications
- Communication technology, i.e 4G, LTE
Thinking about database infrastructure and analytics in new ways will help telecoms adapt to the incredible opportunities created by the Internet of Things.