It’s not as easy as it looks – selecting strong partners to drive successful IoT

strong bridge

Adopting and implementing a successful IoT ecosystem for your business is not a simple process, as David Houghton of Bright Wolf writes here. In his fascinating blog post, David points out that considering IoT’s current potential for providing ‘insurmountable opportunity’ to businesses globally (11T$ annual potential economic impact, according to McKinsey), it may be surprising to some that IoT is not being deployed on a mass scale yet. As David writes, though, ‘If it were easy, everyone would be doing it’.

Even for those firms who have done their homework, spoken with industry experts and analysts to help them evaluate the vast range of technologies available, and who have committed financially and strategically to embracing IoT, it is not always an easy road. David advises against opting for the ‘plug and play and drag and drop’ do-it-yourself solution. This approach would require companies to work with numerous organisations and vendors to create an end-to-end system themselves – a process which can be very difficult to manage and deliver successfully.

At Arkessa, we understand the importance of choosing partners wisely and ensuring that our own technology is easy to adopt and connect with for everybody who works with us. Whether as an IoT Eco-System partner (Fujitsu, Siemens…) with pre-integration of the technology or as an Alliance partner (Intel…) we will pursue ease-of-use, adoption and scale. We will help future-proof technology choices in IoT.

Just as no single company can deliver an IoT solution end-to-end, no single IoT adopter can source, plan, deploy and operate without forming trusted supplier partnerships. There are many factors to consider, including how much ecosystem management you are willing or able to do yourself as a customer and how much experience of connected systems exists within your organisation.  Check out David’s list of considerations below. He recommends you roll up your sleeves and ensure your IoT solution is designed for change and longevity.

  • Protocols – given the plethora of standards and the fact that one size certainly does not fit all, beware of proprietary protocols with lock-in scenarios, particularly for things in the field. Seek to control your connection by owning your protocol IP.
  • Connected Systems Experience – if you’ve got it, great, if not, get it and realise not all experience is created equal. Relatively manual applications with stationary devices that are powered and networked via wire are very different from resource intensive, edge based analytics on ‘things’ that are battery or solar powered and wireless (cellular, Wi-Fi…).
  • Deployment Models – over time we can expect to see a more intelligent edge so ensure your software choices can support all deployment models.
  • Systems Integrators – SI’s are only as good as the people on your project and true connected systems experience remains very thin.
  • Thin Security – design and build in up front. Bolting on after the fact is a flawed strategy. Variables include hardware, network, software and people.
  • Dynamic Data Model – uses cases, device models, and external integrations will evolve throughout the lifespan of the system, therefore a dynamic data model is crucial.
  • Divorce – these systems can live for decades, so if for some reason you have to change out some of the ‘pieces’ (hardware, software, network) within the end-to-end system, understand your options and points of lock-in.

Read David’s excellent blog post here and do get in touch with any comments or questions. David describes IoT as ‘at the intersection of the digital and the physical, dramatically extending the reach of information technology.’ It’s an exciting space to be part of and we agree with David when he says there is no reason to delay the adoption of IoT for your company – just make sure you choose the right partners and do your homework.

By Arkessa