Amid all the buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT), there can be a lot of confusion about how the vision of IoT relates to the more established and proven concept of machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Given that M2M is all about connecting devices, it’s easy to think the distinction is all hype—or, conversely, that the grand vision for IoT is simply too “blue sky.” Either way, those steeped in M2M implementation may conclude that IoT is the latest “emperor’s new clothes” of the technology world. The reality is that while the aspirations for IoT are indeed sweeping, there are identifiable advancements inherent in IoT that already provide tangible value. And, fortunately, businesses already leveraging M2M are well positioned to benefit from IoT’s additional capabilities.
The enterprise has been automating processes through machine-to-machine (M2M) integrations for decades. It’s not uncommon for a large enterprise to employ several software systems to manage complex processes up and down the supply chain. That’s where M2M integrations come in: to open the lines of communication between devices, machines and software systems for business process optimization.