If IoT is Simple, Why is an IoT Strategy so Hard to Implement?
Internet of Things (IoT) solutions promise to connect billions of devices to the Internet easily, thereby creating an incredible amount of economic value in all vertical markets. The underlying technologies are ‘old friends’ like cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, data management, analytics,
storage, and security. These decade(s) old technologies, should make it easy to implement an IoT strategy, correct?
IoT Challenges and Launch Issues
So why have so few companies – even when they have decided to implement an IoT strategy – failed to launch commercial IoT programs? More often than not, the IoT challenges that cause failure can be attributed to a lack of time spent on the following:
- Building a business plan to clearly demonstrate a positive ROI before getting into IoT pilots
- Gaining a deep understanding of use cases
- The dynamics and intricacies of the technologies involved
- The infrastructure needed to provide cloud-based, hybrid or on premise solutions
- The trade-offs that occur between product costs and levels of security, reliability, robustness and compatibility
- Integration of siloed systems as well as cultural conflicts within a larger enterprise
What Should Companies Consider Before Implementing an IoT Strategy?
At a minimum, no IoT strategy should be acted on without a solid business plan and a deep consideration and early discussion about connectivity, mobility, management, and security. A few areas of consideration to address these IoT challenges for each are:
- Connectivity Type
What method(s) of connectivity will address the needs of products and customers and within budget? Is it future-proof and does it comply with relevant local and international regulatory standards?
- IoT Device Management
Manual configuration and management is okay when there are a few devices, but deploying hundreds, thousands or more devices will require careful thought Also the infrastructure to provide remote management and control to reduce maintenance and support costs will have be considered. Will the IoT device be able to make certain decisions itself, filter the data stream, or care for other local operations or will all data be pushed to the cloud for central processing and analytics? These just hint at the tip of the iceberg of due diligence.
- IoT Security
A user ID and a password are no longer sufficient. Multiple layers of security including authentication and encryption, starting from the device component level all the way to the cloud, are necessary to ensure that critical data is protected, both at rest and in motion. To learn more about IoT device security best practices, read our white paper on Security in the Age of IoT.
Planning and Partnering Are Key to Successful Deployment of an IoT Strategy
To quote Steve Jobs, “simple can be harder than complex” – but it is not impossible. Planning across the technology areas of connectivity, mobility, management, and security can help ensure that your solution will not be obsolete before it is released.
A skilled composer’s success depends on determining which musicians to recruit and how to fit the pieces of the orchestra together to create a magnificent symphony. Similarly pairing with the right technology partners can help companies to:
- reduce time to market.
- successfully implement their IoT strategy.
- and eliminate costs associated with reinventing the wheel.
IoT can deliver elegant simplicity and measurable benefits when implemented well. While it may still be hard, to quote Jobs again, “working hard to get your thinking clean” can eliminate the #$%^!