Let’s face it, it seems so simple that everyone should do it. As a matter of fact, if I intend to move my product to the Internet of Things, the only reasonable thing I should do is open a connection with my thing, get information and display it on my web. A TCP/IP connection should do, and anyone can do that. But… Oh, wait!
It’s really not so simple. For that reason, I would like to share with you these 4 things to have in mind when moving your products to the Internet of Things:
1. Size and volumetry translates to scalability
One of the most common mistakes when facing a solution is not realizing that the biggest issues come when the amount of devices in the solution is multiplied by the amount of information each device sends. The amount of information is the sum of many factors like the number of times a day the device connects, the amount of data contained every time, and the protocol used to send the information. Once we have this solved, we will need to take care of the architecture, relational databases, non-relational databases, bandwidth…
2. Business intelligence and Integration with business processes
The Internet of things does make sense as a combination of information from different sources with the business processes. Whether the business is related to a retailer or a bank, the workflows that make the business work have to be re-redesigned for the Internet of Things.
This integration will allow for increasing efficiencies, reducing costs and improving productivity (we will write some other posts about this… be ready!). And then, when the integration is done, the intelligence comes into place and creating an integrated Business Intelligence framework will boost performance and get the most out of the Internet of Things solution.
There is a set of reports that may be generic per-se and some others that can be common to a specific industry. But it is very important to notice that each company will have specific needs in what regards to intelligence. Any Industrial Internet of Things framework will have to include a Business Intelligence module that can be adapted for each client.
3. Device Management focused on all the infrastructure
Getting data from devices and sending them some commands can be labeled as a simple task. When the solution scales and the deployment starts getting big, a new problem starts to give its new face, and it’s very common to not taking care of this problem at the initial stages of the development, and some times it may be late.
Device Management gives the tools to control de infrastructure of the solution. It includes aspects like asset management, monitoring, software updates, remote control… but not of the sensors and “business assets”. Device Management takes care of all the components that make part of the solution like routers, modems, gateways… The solution is a complete set of devices that make possible create the infrastructure.
4. Internet of Things Security as a must
Above all, security. A lax security policy can ruin a business, but it can be magnified if this occurs in an Internet of Things solution. In the best cases, a security issue can make loose money because of wrong data being injected (for instance a hacked electricity meter). This issue may get worse if we multiply by thousands the number of devices being hacked, where economic loses will be proportionally multiplied. It will get even worst when a flaw in the security of your Internet of Things can affect customer’s satisfaction in a massive way. And the worst of all, hacking of personal devices, like vehicles or drones, can cause physical damages to people.
Would you add any other thing to keep in mind before moving your product into the Internet of Things?
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