IoT Platforms are Emerging but The Market Remains Immature
Lots of companies have run IoT Proof of Concept exercises but few have implemented large scale deployments. Many customers, having ‘dabbled’ but struggled with a credible business case, are sitting back waiting to see how the market for IoT platforms develops.
Determine the Principles that Will Guide your Selection Process
It is unlikely you will source completely from one vendor, as the companies that manufacture sensors are unlikely to be the same ones that provide wireless networking services or that are highly experienced in enterprise-class cloud software applications.
The current trend is to avoid building large proprietary business solutions and to look for open, extensible, platforms capable of supporting integration of multiple technologies, to reduce implementation time, cost and risk. Although it’s a relatively new market, it has matured enough that there are several highly capable platforms on which you can develop your specific business solutions. Platforms should be:
- Secure against third party intrusion, and protecting your IP
- Flexible/agile, adapting to changes in business requirements
- Open, providing ease of integration and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
The main features to look for include:
- A flexible, distributed architecture. As compute capability, storage, power management and networking capabilities improve you need to be able to move compute loads within the architecture, without being locked to the original model.
- Open standards – Avoid proprietary standards and their inherent constraints. ‘Open’ may not be ‘Open Source’ but ensure that any platform exposes its functionality via easy to use APIs hosted with a PaaS (Platform as a Service) model
- Device management with scalability – To move from a lab Proof of Concept with 10 devices to a global solution with hundreds of thousands of devices
- Security model – Security will only grow in importance as IoT solutions take on critical workloads, and must be baked into the solution design from the start rather than added as an afterthought
- Advanced analytics – Collecting real-world data and build real-world data models to derive actionable insight that demonstrates value to the business.
- An existing partner eco system – To make it easier, quicker and cheaper to deploy your solution
Implementation Resourcing is a Significant Issue
Given the skills involved, it is likely you will need some external expertise to design, implement and deploy solutions. Building your own team keeps control in-house but skilled and experienced people are expensive, and can be difficult to find.
A viable approach is to blend your resources, augmenting in house teams with specialist consultancy to advise throughout the process, including platform selection.
Viable IoT platforms are emerging, and augmenting your in house staff with targeted external resource to provide the additional skills and experience will help you through this maturing market. To get started with your project, or simply to discuss your ideas, call us on 0113 242 3795.