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DZone Research: How to Get More From IoT

DZone's Guide to

DZone Research: How to Get More From IoT

Have a specific business case in mind, understand the value of your data, identify how to monetize the data.

· IoT Zone ·
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Download The Comparative Guide to Rules Engines for IoT to learn what are the most common automation technologies used in the IoT domain for application development

To understand the current and future state of IoT, we spoke to more than a dozen IT executives active in the space. Here's what they told us when we asked, "How can organizations get more from IoT?"

Use Case

  • We've seen a lot of B2B implementations with high novelty, smart devices of every kind. There needs to be a legitimate use case. With the continued miniaturization of sensors and devices and the proliferation of 5G, there will be plenty of compelling business problems for IoT to solve. 
  • We are making the transformation from just connecting things and getting data to now figuring out the problem we're trying to solve. There's a data explosion. We need to determine how to manage and get value from the data. You need to think about business first. What business problem are you trying to solve? Play the “what if?” Dream ask the big question and put in business metrics. Align people from the technology with the business needs and the business partners. Quantify the business value. Identify the vision, strategies, goals, and hypotheses to validate. Have a clear destination. 
  • I think companies can get the most out of IoT if they start by looking for problems or opportunities that can be addressed by IoT technologies like a temperature monitoring system with alerts or remote control capabilities. Too often, companies look at the products or solutions on the market first and then try to think of ways they could apply them. It’s generally just faster and more productive to go after solving a well-defined issue first — and besides, building some expertise and practice in implementing IoT, it often leads to faster wins and a sense of momentum. 
  • In order to get the most out of the IoT, companies should focus on two things: leveraging most of your technology and building a true revenue model. For example, are you leveraging your data in the best ways? If not, what can you adjust in your business model to ensure you are properly leveraging that data. Companies also need to ask themselves: can I create a business model around connectivity that justifies the recurring cost incurred by connected devices? Many companies work backward by imagining the connected product first, and then the value proposition. These IoT projects are hardly ever successful because the company never took the time to fully understand the problem they were trying to solve. Simply adding an Internet connection to your widget doesn’t mean your business will make immediate profits. IoT products come with significant ongoing costs — web infrastructure, networking, and other connectivity and data-related costs. If you can’t justify the added value to your customers, those costs will eat away at your margins. The most successful IoT products are those that deliver recurring, continuous value for your customers (and recurring revenue for you). Companies are finding ways to deliver this recurring, continuous value by using IoT for preventative maintenance, asset tracking, and environmental monitoring. These are business models that not only contribute back to the business but help the customer as well.

Value of Data

  • One thing IoT companies don’t realize is how valuable their data really is. Take a home automation company. The amount of data streaming through their service is staggering — temperatures, energy usage, humidity, the list goes on. They can take that data, turn it into a data firehose, and make it consumable as a business in itself.
  • 1) Think about short-term design to feed into the long-term. Value comes from applications and services that make use of the data. You need to address a real business need and be able to generate the real value, which is to sell and make money.
    2) In the long-term, you need to be able to support and scale. That’s where standards and open source come in. Devices needed to get smart and detected aren’t real expensive. Make sure you have a support structure to manage the cost so as not to eat up benefits. Right now, every time you get a new IoT device, you get a new app for your smartphone. That doesn’t scale; hence, we have a need for standards. You need to be able to bridge to other ecosystems.
  • Connect the data to the problems people have. Five years ago, we focused on the data but didn’t gain traction until realize how data impacts the people in the industry. Business improvement and optimization software — how it impacts the people in their day-to-day life. If you don’t make the connection, you won’t get the adoption.

Other

  • The main benefit that APIs bring is the ability to stitch together IoT deployments within a wider ecosystem of other applications and capabilities across the business. When IoT assets are exposed internally as APIs, they form part of an application network, which provides a way of connecting IoT capabilities with other applications, data, and devices. In this model, these assets are reusable across the business, removing the need for IT to create point-to-point connections for every IoT deployment. As such, APIs become the ‘digital glue,' providing a future-proof way of combining IoT with other business systems to create a rich ecosystem that gets the most benefit from IoT deployments, all within a secure-by-design approach.

  • Discuss cost. Companies are willing to spend a lot of money to set up a data center but not IoT devices. Self-sufficient, self-managed. Always looking for a cost-effective solution to work on an IoT device and a data center as well. Cloud vendors have a great story to tell. But no longer is the public cloud most cost-effective. However, Google Cloud IoT is hungry and eager to grab share from Amazon and Azure. Driving more cost-effective solutions for customers. Customers also want overall seamless experience. Cloud vendors do not offer a good on-prem solution.
  • New product home environmental monitor — lights, humidity, and clear air. Automate everything to optimize for sleep, productivity, and exercise. Most people don’t have connected homes. The ecosystem is not as pervasive. We had to launch our own solution on top of the platform. Since we're still a couple of years away from an integrated platform, what else do we need to do to delight the customer? Most of the devices, like Alexa, are speech-enabled — you have a speaker and microphone. You don’t see that with a lot of appliances. Some of the basic tools in a home are still quite expensive (e.g. smart light bulbs).
  • Train large organizations to think of these as large projects — like moon shots scale at large investment. Think big, start small, iterate often. Prove out a minimum viable product. Learning will be significant, help you learn to evolve.  Observe, decide, act, iterate.
  • AI — smart automation results in a faster and more reliable workforce!

Here’s who we spoke to:

See how CEP engines, stream processing engines, flow based programming engines and other popular rule-based technologies perform against seven IoT-specific criteria.

Topics:
iot ,use cases ,data ,data-driven ,connected devices ,smart devices ,IoT data ,IoT use case

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