As more and more organisations invest in IoT and look to either buy or build IoT platforms to handle their data and manage their devices and services, it is becoming more complex to identify the right approach from the slew of IoT platforms, now numbering in the hundreds, that are on the market. In addition, as IoT services scale up from connecting a small and easy-to-manage to a large number of devices, the decision between buying or building your own platform becomes less clear cut. Dima Tokar, co-founder and head of research at IoT analyst firm MachNation, and Bill Dykas, IoT Platform product manager at Telit, an IoT solutions provider, tell IoT Now managing editor, George Malim, how businesses can assess both the quantitative and qualitative merits of IoT platforms to determine the best approach and the most appropriate product selection
George Malim: What are some of the top challenges plaguing IoT implementation today?
Dima Tokar: From a business standpoint there are ultimately three key challenges keeping IoT implementations from going forward and going into production. These are: figuring out the return on investment (ROI)-positive solutions, getting executive buy-in and generating business value from the data collected.
It’s easy enough to come up with visionary ideas but the tricky part is identifying which of those solutions make sense and drive revenue, increase profit or build better relationships with customers.
Once you’ve done that and figured out what you’re going to be doing, deploying an IoT platform is quite a transformational thing. It impacts many parts of the business. These are obvious changes in IT and engineering, but IoT solutions also affect marketing, sales and finance so all executives need to have an understanding of what’s going to happen and be all-in on that. Finally, once you are well on your journey and have collected data, knowing what to do with it is not always easy. It typically requires help from people who understand data science and analytics to get to the best outcomes. Not all organisations have teams of data scientists available at their disposal, so this is potentially a lot more challenging and costly than people expect.
Bill Dykas: What we’ve observed from most sophisticated customers is that it’s not always about only IoT, it’s about integrating IoT with the existing business process. Changing these can be fraught with complexities and, in addition, to ensuring the executive buy-in that Dima mentioned, IoT solutions involve distribution networks, have to address where a product is located and work with resellers and dealers. Ensuring support for predictive maintenance is vital but it’s not necessarily the only technical challenge.
GM: What IoT platform specific dilemmas exist?
DT: There are hundreds of self-described IoT platforms and MachNation has identified that there are also many different types of IoT platforms. This makes it difficult to create an apples-to-apples comparison to find a platform that checks all the boxes across a set of business and technical requirements. This is a difficult place for enterprises to start from and most […]
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