B2B standards based on EDI or XML formats run the global economy. The benefits of these standards is primarily interoperability which makes it easier for parties to exchange and interpret data.

The recent unfortunate incident involving Malaysian Airliner crash has exposed the problem with machine and sensor data using proprietary formats. The moment a machine moves out of pre-determined path, other machines do not know what is going on and do not even understand what object is showing up on radar.

B2B standards have standardized the way companies exchange business transactions such as Orders and Payments with each other. But devices such as sensors, turbines and other devices commonly grouped under Internet of Things use non-standard data formats. The problem with non-standard formats is that they are only understood by the devices made by one vendor. Let's say you are selling a vending machine which dispenses cola. There is a sensor in the machine which tells you when the concentrate is low. Now, all your IT infrastructure will need to be built around one vendor's sensor technology. Using standardized formats for sending information out in this case are pretty obvious.

Consortium of industrial giants is coming together to define standards for Internet of Things. Called Industrial Internet Consortium, this effort is also supported by US government. You can read about a recent post on the topic here. As the machines merge with IT applications, processes and people part of the business, its imperative that the data use standardized formats which are defined and adopted on a global level.

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