“What on earth do pillars of science have to do with IoT?” That’s a question I’ve had to answer a few times since the publication of our latest CA Layer 7 eBook, 3 Philosophies for the IoT Age. At first glance, some people have been a little taken aback at the idea that we’re comparing the Internet of Things to the work of great theoretical physicists like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr (the founding father of quantum mechanics). What’s the deal here?
Anyone who digs a bit deeper into the document will quickly realize that this comparison refers to IT architecture broadly, rather than IoT specifically and – crucially – that it’s not supposed to be taken too literally. It’s a metaphor, folks! And as a metaphor, I think it works rather well – with Newton representing traditional on-premise architecture, Einstein representing the vast expanse of the Web and Bohr representing the billions of little connections that make up IoT.
While I’m pretty pleased with these analogies, I can’t really claim responsibility for them. The original idea came from my API Academy colleague Mike Amundsen. I took Mike’s idea and ran with it during a talk I gave at APIdays in San Francisco then fleshed it out a bit in the eBook. The more I looked at it, the more connections I could see between IoT and Bohr’s view of a dense, chaotic molecular universe.
I also believe Mike’s physics metaphor has a practical application. IoT is becoming such a big deal that it’s pretty much guaranteed to generate a wealth of business opportunities. But business leaders and IT experts currently have little insight into what this will actually involve. It’s my hope that the eBook will provide a framework for these folks to start exploring what the opportunities are and what the technical requirements for realizing these opportunities will be.
So, if you’re beginning to think about what IoT will mean for your business, 3 Philosophies for the IoT Age might just help to set you off in the right direction.