IoT has changed our way of life and work. Smart devices are now connecting people faster than ever. IDC estimates that there will be more than 41 billion connected devices, producing 79.4 Zettabytes (ZB) of data by the year 2025. But still, studies indicate that more IoT ventures fail than they succeed. Here are 5 tips to help you direct your IoT project strategy better:
- Know what you want by having clearly defined ideas and goals
This may seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised by how many companies miss out on recognizing the value of a clearly defined problem statement. Every decision-maker in your company needs to set simple, realistic and achievable targets while specifying all the KPIs responsible for achieving them. Think of your IoT project implementation like going to the gym – we join with the thrill of the end result without understanding all the time and hard work it takes to get there. Just like monitoring your fitness progress is a great way to stay motivated, tracking day-to-day business challenges is an amazing way to identify easy use cases. Here are some of the top use cases of IoT:
It is key to have your hardware and software strategy go hand-in-hand. Hardware should not be designed before software and vice versa. Spending a good amount of time on your research, planning & proof-of-concept stages will significantly reduce the failure rate.
- Picking the right IoT platform solutions
The primary aim of an IoT platform is to bring physical devices online. Whether it’s an end-to-end IoT platform, a connectivity management platform, an IoT cloud platform or a data platform – it must be able to support hundreds of millions of device connections at the same time and allow for easy configuration of your devices and systems for unified machine-to-machine communication.
What should you look for while assessing the right IoT platform?
- Connectivity: Know how well the provider’s network coverage suits your company’s current and future initiatives.
- Security and privacy: Review how security and privacy problems have been handled in the past.
- Data Access: Think about how you would integrate data from the IoT platform with your company’s backend systems and existing cloud services. What would you do with the data
- Hardware: Check if the vendor is selling developer kits or starting packages for the particular use case you are targeting. This way you could also decide whether or not you need customizations. You may need to purchase actuators or sensors from third parties to make your devices smart, so make sure they are compatible with the platform.
- API Access: How vendors combine all the complex things needed for IoT deployment – mobile modems, carrier / sim cards, firmware updates, cloud connections, protection, application layer, RTOS. This lets you track all data points from a single, intuitive user interface.
- Analyze your data needs on a continuous basis
Sensors are great at delivering a lot of information, but are you turning that information into insight? Getting the right people and equipment to take data from the sensor and make it easily consumable by the right users would make or break the perceived market value of the project.
Let’s take a smart refrigerator for example, it is continuously monitored – you could have data collected every second or every 30 seconds, but is all that data really making a difference in tracking the functionality of it? Probably not, but if you have the data pushed everything 30 minutes or hour to report if the refrigerator is working at the ideal temperature. The biggest mistake you could make is collecting all that data and pushing it to the cloud based on the objective you’re trying to achieve. The cost of storing and retrieving this data would eventually burn a hole through your pocket. Therefore, it is vital to determine what the optimum data collection frequency would look like, by having a data strategy.
Without analytics, and probably a data scientist, the company will not be able to make specific decisions about the IoT implementations. So, if you’re in the IoT deep of it, remember to dig deep into a variety of areas to get a few more responses, reassurances, or corrections.
- INSIST on security
This may be the most common issue for anyone interested in IoT project development and implementation. Rewind back to 2016 when the DDoS attack took place, it is evident that if IoT devices are not properly secured, companies can be left in an extremely vulnerable state. With the increased growth of IoT’s presence, comes increased security issues.
According to Gartner, more than 25% of reported corporate attacks will involve IoT this year. Many IT professionals may be up all night thinking about the various security threats posed within the IoT era but with the right foundation and strategy in place, your company would be able to tackle any IoT security complications. It is key to stay up to date with emerging enterprise IoT security threats and how to resolve them.
- Build strategic partnerships with ecosystem vendors
Cisco reported that one of the leading reasons for IoT project failure is due to lack of internal expertise. Nobody enjoys being pushed into the deep end and left there. It is ultimately up to you to navigate through the vast sea of IoT possibilities and find your safe harbour, but this doesn’t mean you should not seek expert advice and guidance. It is crucial, at this stage of the IoT project development to gather the right skills and people by your side to avoid technical pitfalls and navigate you through the complications. Leveraging ecosystem vendors like SequoiaAT can help you get your products faster to market.
IoT is taking the business world by storm and companies investing in this emerging tech are enabling rapid growth. IoT is not a failure, but the manner in which it is viewed and used leads to failures. Create a defined roadmap for your IoT project and start taking advantage of it. Don’t be afraid of IoT projects any longer, aim to minimize risk, get help from the experts and take the big win.
Do you have an idea for an IoT project? We offer free consultations for your software strategy. Reach out to us today.